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 Winter Walks (m001772c)
Adrian Chiles

Follow Adrian Chiles on an intimate walk as he ruminates and reflects on life. A keen walker, Adrian explores Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. He talks openly about his challenges with mental health, his diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and the ‘resetting’ powers of taking a stroll.

Walking alone with a 360-degree camera, Adrian starts his journey at the windswept Scalby Ness. He meets craft-recycling beachcombers before heading to the mighty headland and Scarborough Castle. After a walk through the old town, he watches the sun settle at the picturesque harbour. Adrian is in his element, meeting, chatting and enjoying the company of other people while moseying around this quaint and colourful seaside town.

Taking in the vast Jurassic headland with its historic Bronze Age and Roman settlements, Adrian reflects on mankind’s time on earth as he absorbs the vistas across North and South Bay. In a tender moment visiting St Mary’s Church, Adrian pauses for quiet contemplation and discusses the importance of his Catholic faith.

Leaving for the old town, he pays a visit to Anne Bronte’s final resting place to say thank you for the inspiration her literature has given him. On the final stretch along the beach, Adrian is energised and charmed by a group of women swimmers, bracing the February North Sea as they head out for a dip. In a powerful closing moment, Adrian extols ‘resetting and taking time to reflect’ by exploring new places and ‘breathing different air’.

SAT 19:30 Natural World (b05sz8q8)

Iceland: Land of Ice and Fire

In what turns out to be an explosive year, witness Iceland through the eyes of the animals and people that have made this wild island home.

An arctic fox family must eke out a cliff-top living, an eider farmer has his hands full playing duck dad to hundreds of new arrivals and Viking horsemen prepare to saddle up for the autumn round-up. But nature's clock is ticking, and the constant volcanic threat eventually boils over with one of Iceland's biggest eruptions in more than 200 years. This land of ice and fire will not be tamed.

SAT 20:30 What We Were Watching (m0001qys)
Christmas 1988

Grace Dent looks at the television shows that Britain’s viewers were watching over the Christmas period of 1988, focusing on that week’s TV schedules to explore how TV offerings change over the festive season, and how the nation’s viewing expectations have changed over three decades.

It’s an experience that sees Grace reviewing all the top drama, comedy and music programmes that we slumped down to watch after the turkey and trimmings - whilst wondering why that year’s issue of Christmas Radio Times remains the UK’s biggest-selling magazine and marvelling at how many of the big names from 30 years ago remain familiar faces today.

Amongst the shows and moments coming under scrutiny is the year’s biggest comedy, Bread, in which the Boswell family take a riotous trip to Rome; Dirty Den’s prison experiences in a typically cheery Christmas EastEnders, Noel Edmonds making TV history with a live link up in space, Philip Schofield amidst Christmas chaos on Going Live!, Bruce Forsyth and Ronnie Corbett teaming up for a dream double act, and that year’s other dream couple – Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, fresh from Neighbours and over here for a battle with Cliff Richard for that year’s Christmas number one spot. Other musical highlights include Bros’ take on Silent Night and Elaine Paige’s unmissable Christmassy version of Queen’s Radio Ga Ga.

SAT 21:30 Made in Dagenham (b01rcc33)
Comedy drama charting the fight of female factory workers at the Ford Dagenham plant for equal pay. In 1968, one determined factory worker leads her colleagues out on strike in the hope of eradicating unfair working conditions and sexual discrimination.

SAT 23:15 Yes, Minister (b0074qsm)
Series 3

Party Games

Sitcom about a British government minister and the advisers who surround him. The seasonal festivities at the Department of Administrative Affairs are overshadowed by rumours of a cabinet reshuffle. But a leadership election and the Eurosausage affair could lead to great things for Jim Hacker.

SAT 00:15 A Ghost Story for Christmas (m0001qqr)
The Dead Room

Mark Gatiss brings the Christmas ghost story tradition back to life with The Dead Room, the tale of a long-running radio horror series of the same name. Simon Callow (Victoria & Abdul, Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral) plays Aubrey Judd, the veteran presenter of the series and national treasure, who finds that he must adapt to changing times and tastes. But whatever happened to the classic ghost stories? The good old days?

SAT 00:45 A Ghost Story for Christmas (m0012xmb)
The Mezzotint

1923. Edward Williams, gentleman and amateur golfer, lives an untroubled life as the curator of a small university museum. His speciality is the topography of the British Isles. So when an art dealer sends him details of an interesting engraving - a mezzotint - of an old country house, he’s intrigued.

When the picture arrives, however, it seems perfectly ordinary - until Williams notices a figure in the picture where there was none before. A cloaked figure, with a skull-like head and legs that are horribly thin. Soon, within the mezzotint, the figure seems to be on the move across the moonlit lawn towards the house with murderous intent.

Long-forgotten secrets rise to the surface as Williams and his friends summon all the rational forces at their command to confront the impossible.

SAT 01:15 A Ghost Story for Christmas (m000cr9v)
Martin's Close

Adaptation of a ghost story by MR James. 1684. John Martin is on trial for his life. Facing him, the infamous 'hanging judge' George Jeffreys. However, this is not a cut-and-dried murder case.

SAT 01:50 A Christmas History of Sacred Music (b00wvdcj)
Simon Russell Beale takes a journey through Italy, Britain, Germany and Austria as he explores how the sound of Christmas has evolved in response to changing ideas about the Nativity. His story takes us through two millennia of music, from a fragment of papyrus preserving the earliest known piece of Christian music to the stories behind Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night and In the Bleak Midwinter, and the work of popular Christmas composer, John Rutter. Music is performed by Harry Christophers and his choir, The Sixteen.

SAT 02:50 James May: My Sisters' Top Toys (b008l2vq)
James May celebrates the toys that made his childhood hell, as he opens the lid on his sisters' toy box. Sandwiched between elder sister Jane and younger one Sarah, many of their favourites he couldn't understand, or stand the sight of, or see the point of. This is both a tale of brotherly revenge, and the story from the other side of the toy room.

Each toy prompts a story - a history told via archive, anecdote and the occasional obsessive collector or inventor. Dolls, dolls' houses, dolls' prams, Tiny Tears, Girls' World, Look and Learn, Major Morgan the electronic organ get the May inspection... and sisters Jane and Sarah dish the dirt on their brother and their toy memories.

James blows up the Tree House Family, races in a converted Silver Cross pram, tries out his hair and make-up skills on Girls World, projects Spirograph on the side of the Royal Festival Hall, and appears in a Fuzzy Felt animated film... all jolly good clean fun.


SUN 19:00 The Perfect Morecambe and Wise (b04g52q6)
Series 1

Episode 6

Eric and Ernie conduct a scientific lecture with a paper bag, keep an appointment with psychiatrist Sir Alec Guinness, encounter trouble on the stairs with Penelope Keith and clean up with Sir Elton John, who performs Shine on Through.

SUN 19:30 The Perfect Morecambe and Wise (b03n2pm7)
Christmas Special

The very best moments from Eric and Ernie's festive specials. Des O'Connor has finally had it with the insults, Angela Rippon gets out from behind the news desk, Eric Porter shows his friends he can dance and Andre Previn is shown how to play Grieg.

SUN 20:00 The Play What I Wrote (m001gc62)
The sensationally funny homage to Morecambe and Wise.

Filmed live at Theatre Royal, Bath, this smash-hit production of The Play What I Wrote is a sensationally funny homage to Morecambe and Wise.

Directed by Birmingham Rep’s artistic director, Sean Foley, co-written by Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and, of course, Eddie Braben, this Olivier Award-winning comedy, originally directed by Kenneth Branagh, brings sunshine to the stage.

Thom has written a play, an epic set in the French Revolution, called A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple. Dennis, on the other hand, wants to continue with their double act. He believes that if they perform a tribute to Morecambe and Wise, Thom's comic confidence will be restored, and the double act will go on. But first, Dennis needs to persuade a guest star to appear in the play what Thom wrote...

Starring Dennish Herdman, Thom Tuck, Mitesh Soni and guest-Starring renowned multi-award-winning actor Tom Hiddleston.

SUN 21:30 The Morecambe and Wise Show (b00gw1d0)
Christmas Show 1971

The classic 1971 Christmas show, featuring the combined talents of Andre 'Preview' Previn, Glenda Jackson, Shirley Bassey, and not forgetting the immortal Eric and Ernie.

SUN 22:35 A Christmas Carol (m0001kwg)
Simon Callow enacts the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, the miserly owner of an old counting house, who is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, on Christmas Eve. Marley warns Scrooge he is doomed in the afterlife unless he pays heed and learns from three ghosts who will visit him during the night. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come show Scrooge how his mean, uncaring behavior has oppressed those around him as they visit episodes from his past, his present and his future life. By the end Scrooge is humbled and redeemed and transforms into a generous, kind-hearted man.

Viewers can listen in stereo or binaural via headphones

SUN 23:50 Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema (m0001ky5)
Mark Kermode's Christmas Cinema Secrets

In a special seasonal edition of his acclaimed series, film critic Mark Kermode celebrates one of the most perennial of all genres: the Christmas movie. Mark unwraps a glittering selection of Christmas cinematic treats, from much-loved classics to hidden gems, Hollywood blockbusters to international films, and reveals the film-making techniques and storytelling secrets that make them so successful.

Mark demonstrates how, as with all great genres, a key to the success of the Christmas movie lies in its adaptability. Christmas cinema embraces a remarkable range of styles and themes, from fairy tale fantasy to high-octane action, family drama to horror. But a great Christmas movie does more than simply set its story in the festive season. It captures something magical – the Christmas spirit – and in this programme, Mark shows you how.

SUN 00:50 The Truth about Christmas Carols (b00gbgt3)
There could be nothing more sweet and sentimental than the sound of traditional carols performed by a velvet-voiced choir at Christmas. Or so you would think. Composer Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol.

Far from being accepted as part of the celebrations of Jesus's birth, over the centuries carols have been banned by both church and state. The carols we sing seem set in stone and yet they can have up to 400 regional variations. Individual carols have caused controversy - While Shepherds Watched had to be cleaned up by the Victorians for being too crude and there's a suspicion that O Come All Ye Faithful was a call to 18th-century Jacobites to rebel.

The documentary celebrates the enduring power of the carol with a variety of performances from folk singer Bella Hardy to the choir of Truro Cathedral.

SUN 01:50 Discovering... (m00041td)
Series 1

The Bridge on the River Kwai - Malcolm Arnold

Sir Malcolm Arnold was a prolific composer of music in many genres. Over five decades his output included concertos, ballet music, dance suites, overtures and nine symphonies. He was also at home composing for the film studio, his sweeping score for David Lean’s 1957 feature film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, being perhaps his best known film soundtrack. It won him an Oscar.

Here Katie Derham presents the BBC Concert Orchestra performing The Bridge on the River Kwai in full from the Watford Colosseum with conductor Christopher Seaman. Before the performance, Katie speaks to Christopher and to several members of the orchestra to learn more about the composer and the symphonic qualities he brought to the score. Understanding the instruments of the orchestra as well as Arnold did makes his music extremely satisfying to play.

Katie discovers how Arnold managed to create such an iconic soundtrack in only ten days, and composer Debbie Wiseman, who herself composes prolifically for cinema, uses scenes from The Bridge on the River Kwai to demonstrate how the music is interwoven with the rest of the film’s soundtrack. We see how Arnold’s understanding of the orchestra allowed him to use the right instruments in the right registers to complement to action on screen.

Katie also learns the fascinating story of Arnold’s own life - a pacifist who shot himself in the foot to get medically discharged during World War II, and a diagnosed schizophrenic who suffered with mental illness and alcoholism throughout his life. We see how he nonetheless remained an outgoing, engaging and well-loved figure, before hearing his Bridge on the River Kwai suite performed in full.

SUN 02:50 Winter Walks (m001772c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qfrw)
Series 1

Selina Scott

The sound of the countryside fills the air as broadcaster and author Selina Scott enjoys a gentle walk around Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales. Exploring quaint villages, magical waterways and breathtaking landscapes, Selina offers her personal take on this special corner of the Dales.

Filming herself and all that is around her on a 360-degree camera, Selina wanders through the countryside, often deep in thought and stopping only to chat, recite poetry and reflect.

Along the way, she learns of extraordinary philanthropy, meets walkers and a fisherman, and ends her journey drinking local ale in a pub famed for ferret racing.

Filmed in February 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.

MON 19:30 The Good Life (b0077x05)
Silly, But It's Fun

The Goods and the Leadbetters plan their respective Christmases, but neither go according to plan. Classic comedy from 1977.

MON 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0012tx7)
Christmas 1998

Jayne Middlemiss, Kate Thornton and Jamie Theakston present the pop chart programme's Christmas special, first broadcast on 25 December 1998. Featuring Spice Girls, Robbie Williams, B*Witched, Fat Les, LeAnn Rimes and Boyzone.

MON 21:00 Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell (b01t03ky)
Thomas Cromwell has gone down in history as one of the most corrupt and manipulative ruffians ever to hold power in England. A chief minister who used his position to smash the Roman Catholic church in England and loot the monasteries for his own gain. A man who used torture to bring about the execution of the woman who had once been his friend and supporter - Anne Boleyn.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, reveals a very different image of Cromwell. The award-winning novels of Hilary Mantel began the revival of Cromwell's reputation, and now Professor MacCulloch presents Henry VIII's chief minister as a principled and pioneering statesman who was driven by radical evangelism.

Cromwell's extraordinary career blossomed after a childhood marked by poverty and violence. The unschooled son of a brewer, he travelled across Europe as a young man and mysteriously taught himself to speak several languages in addition to accounting and knowledge of the law. When Henry VIII failed to persuade the pope to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Cromwell engineered an incredible solution. Using his political skills he persuaded Parliament and the people to accept a mythological rewriting of the history of England in which the English monarch was as an emperor whose power superseded that of the pope.

Professor MacCulloch describes Cromwell as an evangelical reformer, determined to break the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church and introduce the people of England to a new type of Christianity in which each individual makes direct contact with God.

MON 22:00 Peter Kosminsky Remembers... Wolf Hall (m001gc6z)
Wolf Hall, one of the most critically acclaimed television dramas of recent years, was based on the first two of the late Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell novels and brought together a stellar cast that included Mark Rylance as Cromwell, Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn and Damien Lewis as King Henry VIII.

Director Peter Kosminsky looks back on the making of the drama, with anecdotes and insights into his working with the cast, the joy of collaborating with Mantel herself, and his determination to honour her legacy with the adaptation of the final chapter in Cromwell’s story, The Mirror and the Light.

MON 22:15 Wolf Hall (p02gfy74)
Three Card Trick

Thomas Cromwell's patron Cardinal Wolsey is dismissed as lord chancellor and forced to flee his palace at York Place. The old noble families of England, jealous of their own right to advise the king, have long waited for this moment. His hopes of returning to the king's favour lie with the ever-loyal Thomas Cromwell.

Eight years ago, when Cromwell started working for Wolsey, the cardinal made an enemy of Thomas Boleyn by chastising him for his daughter Anne's far-from-virtuous reputation. As rumours circulated in court that Anne was secretly betrothed to Harry Percy, the cardinal insisted that no such match would be allowed.

Still lacking a male heir, the king is desperate for an annulment from his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, claiming she was not a virgin on their wedding day. To Cromwell's dismay, the cardinal's efforts to persuade the pope to grant the annulment are fruitless. An alliance between the pope and Katherine's nephew, the holy Roman emperor, diminishes the cardinal's position even further.

As Henry grows impatient, the pressure increases on the cardinal. To add to this, rumours reach the cardinal that the king's new mistress is Anne Boleyn, who has sworn vengeance on him over Harry Percy.

Cromwell visits Anne, urging her that only the cardinal can secure what she wants, but Anne is unmoved. The duke of Norfolk, nervous of the cardinal's continuing proximity to the king, insists that Cromwell tell Wolsey to travel north to his archdiocese in York. A desperate Cromwell finally meets directly with Henry, but the king is nothing if not ambiguous. Will he recall the cardinal or turn on him?

MON 23:20 Wolf Hall (b05172x8)
Entirely Beloved

Cardinal Wolsey has been forced out of court to travel north to his archdiocese in York. For Thomas Cromwell, this is only a tactical retreat; in time the cardinal will regain the King's favour. Wolsey urges Cromwell to find a way to get close to Anne Boleyn for she is the key to persuading the King to restore him.

Cromwell visits Thomas More and his family at their home in Chelsea. More is amiable but the atmosphere is tense. He is determined to clamp down on heresy and is convinced that Cromwell has Protestant leanings.

Anne Boleyn summons Cromwell, wanting to know if she has an ally in him. She is aware of letters sent between Queen Katherine and the cardinal which are tantamount to treason and is becoming impatient waiting for Henry. Cromwell observes her taking her frustration out on her ladies-in-waiting, including young Jane Seymour who Cromwell takes pity on.

The King starts to take notice of Cromwell. Henry admires his loyalty to the cardinal and appreciates the honest and open way Cromwell talks to him. An intimacy develops and Henry comes to rely on Cromwell's advice.

There is then news from the north. The cardinal is arrested for treason by Harry Percy, a vengeful act for denying his betrothal to Anne Boleyn eight years earlier. The cardinal's health deteriorates rapidly and he dies on the journey south to the Tower of London.

At court, a party is held to mark the demise of the Cardinal. Cromwell closely watches those that celebrate Wolsey's death and as Cromwell is sworn in to the King's Council, he swears vengeance on those that brought the cardinal down.

MON 00:20 Painting the Holy Land (b09y1vzs)
Series 1

Episode 2

Lachlan Goudie traces the story of Mary through the gospels with a personal question - why is the life of the Mother of God barely described in the Bible, but so well-represented in art?

He looks at her role in the story of the Resurrection and the subsequent events up to Pentecost, fifty days after Easter. In Nazareth he visits the well where legend states the teenage Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, and at one of seventeen Churches of the Annunciation sees the wealth of imagery that has helped secure for Mary a place in the hearts of the faithful. In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, now in a grotto beneath the Church of the Nativity, he watches and draws pilgrims from all over the world.

Lachlan grew up hearing the Easter story from his Catholic mother. Taking his easel with him, he visits the places in the Holy Land most associated with Mary, seeing places and meeting people he knows his mother would enjoy, and carrying religious images drawn by his painter father to the source.

During this journey Lachlan discovers that Mary and her miraculous story are inspiring not just to Christians. Mary the Mother of Jesus is a major figure to Muslims, the only woman named in the Koran.

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.

MON 01:20 Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell (b01t03ky)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

MON 02:20 Top of the Pops (m0012tx7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 03:20 Winter Walks (m000qfrw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Winter Walks (m000qftx)
Series 1

Lemn Sissay

The picture-perfect setting of Cumbria’s Dentdale is the location for Lemn Sissay’s breathtaking journey into a world of snow-capped hills, blue skies and birdsong.

Starting high on the moorlands above Dent village, and carrying a 360-degree camera, Lemn walks along ancient drovers’ roads and the old postman’s path, with breathtaking winter views in every direction. Meeting locals, including a farmer who collects vintage tractors and a lone bagpiper, Lemn is inspired by the landscape and reflects on the power of being immersed in nature.

After a challenging climb to England’s highest mainline train station, Dent, Lemn reflects that he must find time to walk and explore the countryside more.

Filmed in March 2020 before Covid restrictions were introduced.

TUE 19:30 To the Manor Born (b0078gxn)
Series 1

The First Noel

Christmas comes but once a year. Perhaps on the Grantleigh estate, that is just as well, as Audrey is determined to carry out her responsibilities as though she still lived at the manor.

TUE 20:00 Top of the Pops (b008ptfg)
Christmas 1978

Noel Edmonds presents a special Top of the Pops from 1978, with Darts, Abba, Boney M, Brotherhood of Man, Father Abraham, Bee Gees, Brian and Michael, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, Wings, Showaddywaddy, Rose Royce, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta and Legs & Co.

TUE 21:00 A Merry Tudor Christmas with Lucy Worsley (m000cfd5)
Lucy Worsley recreates how Christmas was celebrated during the age of Henry VIII – eating, drinking, singing, dancing and partying like people did 500 years ago. She is getting into Tudor clothes and inside Tudor minds - discovering the forerunners of some of the Christmas customs we still enjoy today and exploring why other festive traditions fell out of favour.

With the help of food historian Annie Gray, she prepares two royal feasts in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace. For the king's Christmas dinner, Lucy - in full royal costume as Henry - tucks into stuffed boar's head, served to her by a choir singing its praises. She also tastes Tudor versions of the mince pies and Christmas cakes we still enjoy today - and munches on a marzipan chess set and some 16th-century sweets.

Lucy joins Tudor carol-singers to perform a festive hit penned by Henry VIII himself, and watches a forerunner of the Royal Variety Show, complete with dancing stags and swordplay. She immerses herself in the rabble-rousing fun created by the Lord of Misrule, an anarchic ancestor of our Father Christmas.

Lucy also explores how ordinary Tudors liked to enjoy themselves - and why the holidays were such a welcome break. She discovers how many people relied on charity to see them through the winter - and why Christmas was the only time it was legal to play most games and sports! Lucy decks her Tudor hall with traditional decorations, tastes the ale and mead which were popular Christmas drinks for humble folk, and brings back to life a strange and spooky Christmas custom which is a prototype of Halloween trick or treating.

Lucy is also thrilled to encounter priceless records in the National Archives, which show exactly how much Henry VIII's lavish Christmas celebrations cost. She discovers that the Tudor version of Christmas gift-giving was an occasion for very big spending. She even receives some of the presents that were offered to Henry VIII in 1532 - which ranged from money and bling to a brace of greyhounds and a six foot boar spear from Anne Boleyn.

Alongside all the partying, Tudor Christmas was more focused on religion than it is for many people today. Lucy reminds us how the celebrations followed a month's fasting during Advent and visits one of the ornate royal chapels where Henry himself worshipped, exploring how the religious Reformation he unleashed would change Christmas forever.

Across the programme, she traces Henry's evolution from handsome prince to ill-tempered old man - but reveals that two of his queens nonetheless found a way of enjoying Christmas together.

This Yuletide treat was filmed at some of the UK's most historic and beautiful locations, including Hever Castle, Ingatestone Hall, Penshurst Place and the centuries-old farm buildings of the Weald and Downland Museum. Contributors include historic performance specialist Charlotte Ewart, early music specialists Passamezzo, Professors Maria Hayward and Meg Twycross, and the chaplain to Her Majesty's Chapel Royal at Hampton Court, Father Anthony Howe.

On each of the traditional twelve days of Christmas, Lucy explores a different aspect of the season, uncovering fresh insights into the Tudor mind and casting a captivating new light on Christmas itself.

TUE 22:00 Wolf Hall (b0520v9d)
Anna Regina

Although he has no official title, Cromwell is relied on more and more in the running of the king's affairs. Cromwell manoeuvres a bill through Parliament acknowledging Henry rather than the pope as head of the Church of England. This is the first step in Cromwell's plan for Henry to grant his own divorce from Katherine of Aragon.

A major obstacle to Henry's marriage plan arises when Harry Percy's wife claims her own marriage is unlawful on the grounds her husband had previously made a binding contract of marriage with Anne Boleyn. With the cardinal now dead, the Boleyn family looks to Cromwell to fix Harry Percy, a task Cromwell approaches with relish, remembering how Percy helped bring the cardinal down. As Anne and Cromwell become allies, Anne secures him a formal position in the king's household. The king and his court, including Cromwell, head to Calais to meet with the French king, expecting that he will pledge his support of the Bill and Henry's marriage suit.

At a dance, Anne flirts with the French nobility to Henry's evident fury. She and Henry argue violently, but when they are reconciled Henry finally pledges himself to Anne before witnesses. Henry marries Anne upon their return to England and she is crowned queen. Even in her moment of triumph, and as Cromwell congratulates her, Anne knows the old noble families hate her and will never accept her. Anne is pregnant and leaves court to begin her confinement. She has achieved what she wanted, but it has come at a cost. As Cromwell is all too aware, Anne must now produce a male heir or risk suffering Katherine's fate.

TUE 23:00 Wolf Hall (b052sfnf)
The Devil's Spit

Anne gives birth to a baby girl, Elizabeth, and Henry does little to hide his disappointment. Anne is aware that her power in court rests on producing a male heir and in her paranoia cracks appear in her relationship with Cromwell.

The 'Holy Maid of Kent', Elizabeth Barton, has been prophesising that if Henry marries Anne Boleyn he will die within the year. Cromwell's spies know that she is touting new candidates for the throne - the old Plantagenet families whom the Tudors displaced and supporters of Katherine who are loyal to Rome. Cromwell interviews the Holy Maid but counsels the king to show mercy to her supporters. However, until Henry has a male heir, the Tudor line remains vulnerable. Cromwell decrees that everyone in public life must take an oath to recognise Henry's supremacy as head of the church and the legality of his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Thomas More advises his family to take the oath but, despite pressure from Cromwell, will not take it himself and is committed to the tower. More is tried, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Cromwell did not want him dead - he wanted to bend More's will and make him take the oath, but More's stubbornness left him with no choice. Recovering from serious illness, Cromwell plans the king's royal progress to include a trip to Wolf Hall, the home of Sir John Seymour and his daughter Jane.

TUE 00:00 The Classical Collection (m001gc87)
Series 1

JS Bach

Highlight performances of Bach’s music from the BBC Television archives, featuring choral, orchestral and solo performances, including an array of legendary soloists from David Oistrakh and Yo-Yo Ma to András Schiff and Myra Hess.

TUE 01:00 Hope Street (m001f2vf)
Series 2

Episode 1

Niamh and Shay are partying on the beach when a hooded figure rugby tackles a lad to the ground. The figure reveals himself as Niamh and Shay’s dad, Inspector Finn O’Hare; he saw the lad trying to sell drugs to the kids.

TUE 01:45 Winter Walks (m000qftx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:15 A Christmas History of Sacred Music (b00wvdcj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 01:50 on Saturday]


WED 19:00 Winter Walks (m001226k)
Series 2

Amanda Owen

The 'Yorkshire Shepherdess', Amanda Owen, explores familiar territory as she crosses hills and fields through Wensleydale and Raydale on her Winter Walk. Taking ancient routes first made by the Romans, Amanda meets fellow sheep farmers and exchanges notes on their shared occupation.

As she walks across the Dales with her 360-degree camera, she describes what life is like living and working in this landscape. She takes her time to tune in to the soft sounds and scenes of the rolling hills, finding fossils in the stones below her feet. Crossing over the Dales, she drops down to Semer Water, ending her walk on the pebble banks as the water laps at her feet.

WED 19:30 Les Dawson on Christmas (m001gc7g)
The 1980 Christmas edition of Les Dawson's topical comedy sketch show, The Dawson Watch, in which he appears as himself and in the guise of various characters.

WED 20:00 Top of the Pops (m0001r5k)
Peter Powell presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on Christmas Day 1986. Featuring Billy Ocean, The Communards, a-ha, Europe, Doctor and the Medics, Cliff Richard & The Young Ones, Spitting Image, Boris Gardiner, Diana Ross, Berlin, Simply Red, Nick Berry, Falco, George Michael and Pet Shop Boys.

WED 21:00 Norman Wisdom: His Story (b00vhmqq)
From street urchin to knight of the realm - the story of Norman Wisdom, who used to be one of the biggest film stars in the UK, portraying a man who rarely stepped out of character in public, and whose highly individual comic style hid the private tragedy of his early life.

The actor's life story is told through the people who knew him well - his son and daughter Nick and Jacqui Wisdom, his daughter-in-law Kim, film director Stephen Frears, actors Ricky Tomlinson, Leslie Phillips and Honor Blackman, and singer Dame Vera Lynn.

WED 22:00 Wolf Hall (b053j5n1)

The Act of Supremacy has declared Henry supreme head of the church in England. But the Holy Roman Emperor, and his ambassador, Eustache Chapuys, have refused to recognise either his new title or his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Cromwell visits Katherine. She is growing frail and tired and she longs to see her daughter Mary. Cromwell pities Katherine and tries to persuade the King to allow Chapuys to visit her, but Henry refuses - until the Emperor acknowledges Anne as his lawful wife, Henry will not make any allowances on diplomacy.

With Anne pregnant again and away from court, Henry begins to take notice of Jane Seymour. The Seymours enlist Cromwell's help in their dealings with the King.

Anne is aware that Cromwell is conspiring with the Seymours and reminds him that she made Cromwell who he is today. When Katherine dies, Anne celebrates - Katherine had always been blamed for Anne's failure to produce a male heir and Anne is now certain her pregnancy will deliver a boy.

The King takes part in a jousting tournament and is nearly killed. Cromwell becomes acutely aware that he owes his position solely to Henry and that without the King's support his enemies would destroy him. Mercifully Henry makes a full recovery but, in the shock at the news of his fall, Anne miscarries.

Henry fears that he will never have a son with Anne, convinced that she is cursed and that he was tricked into marriage by her. He wants a new wife and, as ever, Cromwell is tasked with delivering this.

WED 23:00 Wolf Hall (b0547rvc)
Masters of Phantoms

Anne accuses Cromwell of betrayal when she finds out he tried to protect Mary and not Elizabeth at a time of crisis. But Anne's power is dissolving rapidly and her enemies are gathering.

Anne argues with Jane Rochford but in her anger Anne divulges that the musician Mark Smeaton and the nobles Francis Weston and Harry Norris have all declared their love to her, a treasonable offence.

Jane Rochford takes great pleasure in reporting these events to Cromwell. She further insinuates that her husband George Boleyn's unhealthy sexual appetite extends to his sister. Cromwell is dumbfounded by such accusations, but brings Mark Smeaton in for questioning. Smeaton foolishly boasts of his own exploits with the Queen, and under duress starts to spill other names including Norris, Weston and William Brereton. Cromwell now has enough information to act and these men together with Anne and George Boleyn are brought to the Tower of London.

As Cromwell visits each gentleman in his cell, he thinks back to Cardinal Wolsey's demise and remembers how each of Norris, Weston, Brereton and George Boleyn had cruelly mocked his master. Cromwell has exacted the ultimate revenge.

Anne is also found guilty and sentenced to death. But with so many heads removed, who now stands between Cromwell and the King?

WED 00:00 The Classical Collection (m001gc7k)
Series 1

Daniel Barenboim

Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim is one of the legendary cultural forces of his generation, and has been a regular and familiar presence on BBC Television since the 1960s. In this programme, we revisit some of the standout moments of an extraordinary career, including performances with his first wife Jacqueline du Pré, intimate chamber music, solo recitals, masterclasses and epic orchestral concerts.

WED 01:00 Hope Street (m001fbg7)
Series 2

Episode 2

Inspector Finn and new detective Al attend the scene of a shooting – an event unheard of in sleepy Port Devine. Someone has fired a bullet through retired headmaster Eugene McManners’ front door.

Meanwhile, Marlene goes the extra mile for her best friend Nicole, alienating stepdad Barry in the process.

WED 01:45 Winter Walks (m001226k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:15 Natural World (b05sz8q8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 on Saturday]


THU 19:00 Winter Walks (m00122hx)
Series 2

Nihal Arthanayake

Nihal Arthanayake, broadcaster and radio DJ, explores coast and countryside around the Cumbria and Lancashire border, and finds local characters, breathtaking views and moments of serenity along the way. As a recent resident of the north west, Nihal is keen to discover what is on his doorstep. Starting in the coastal town of Arnside and looking out over the mudflats of Morecambe Bay, Nihal heads south with just his 360-degree camera for company.

The quiet and stillness of his walk gives him time to ‘declutter’ his mind and reflect on the importance of solitude. Along the way, Nihal passes Arnside Tower and crosses the border into Lancashire. Views from the top of Arnside Knott and from hidden coves on the Silverdale coast showcase the beauty of this corner of the country, and give Nihal fresh perspectives on his work and relationships.

THU 19:30 Are You Being Served? (b0078zpb)
Series 6

Happy Returns

Classic sitcom set in a department store. It is young Mr Grace's birthday and he's in for a surprise courtesy of the Gentlemen's and Ladies' departments.

THU 20:00 Timeshift (b008l3cn)
Series 7

Stuffed: The Great British Christmas Dinner

It's the season of peace and goodwill to all, when we think of those less fortunate than ourselves. It's also the time of year when we stuff our faces and gorge and drink ourselves silly. Christmas dinner is served. Being the last great feast in the British culinary tradition, what role does it play today?

With contributions from actor Simon Callow, cultural critic Jonathan Meades, food writers Paul Levy, Prue Leith and Diana Henry, and historians Kate Colquhoun and Kathryn Hughes, this fun documentary asks why the British remain so wedded to this meal? What does it say about us as a nation? Can it survive in a rapidly changing and culturally diverse Britain of different faiths, food fads and health concerns?

For many, Christmas dinner means the anxiety and pressure to get it right, the endless advice from every celebrity chef reinventing the wheel and the bizarre traditions that must be maintained at all costs. For others it's a time to savour good food, dine with family and friends and connect with ancient customs and rituals. Either way, we end up completely stuffed.

THU 21:00 The Shirley Bassey Show (m001gc8p)
Series 1


A compilation of highlights from Shirley Bassey's first entertainment series for the BBC, originally broadcast at Christmas in 1977. Shirley's guests include Charles Aznavour and Johnny Nash.

THU 21:30 Shirley Bassey at the BBC (b01psct4)
Dame Shirley Bassey, one of Britain's all-time great voices, began her rise to fame as a 16-year-old singer in 1953. Over 60 years on, she is still going as strong as ever. Join us as we celebrate Dame Shirley's remarkable career, taking a trip down memory lane to uncover some of her finest performances from the vaults of the BBC.

From early BBC appearances on Show of the Week, The Shirley Bassey Show, via the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury 2007 and right up to her jaw-dropping show at the Electric Proms, this is a compilation of some of Dame Shirley's classic performances, taking in iconic songs such as The Performance of My Life, Goldfinger, Big Spender and Diamonds Are Forever.

THU 22:30 Schalcken the Painter (m001gc8r)
A chilling tale of the supernatural set in 17th-century Holland, based on the paintings of Godfried Schalcken.

THU 23:40 The Classical Collection (m001gc8t)
Series 1

Neglected Masterpieces

A celebration of the newly recognised glories of classical music, featuring a wealth of works written by largely forgotten or neglected composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence B Price, Grace Williams and Erich Korngold.

THU 00:40 Hope Street (p0ddg4mc)
Series 2

Episode 3

When an ATM machine is stolen, new detective Al crosses a line to save someone he loves. Meanwhile, Finn struggles to cope – and has a difficult conversation with Siobhan.

THU 01:25 Top of the Pops (m0001r5k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday]

THU 02:25 Timeshift (b008l3cn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Winter Walks (m00122hp)
Series 2

Reverend Kate Bottley

Reverend Kate Bottley takes in the historic ruins and snow-dusted landscape of Wensleydale and Coverdale on her Winter Walk. Kate sets off on her walk as the sun rises over the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey. With a 360-degree camera in her hand, she walks along the banks of the River Cover and into the dale of the same name. Passing through woodland she meets local residents who are out braving the chilly conditions.

As she walks, Kate reflects on her faith and relationships. Her journey ends at Middleham Castle, the ruined fortress that was a childhood home of Richard III.

FRI 19:30 Keeping Up Appearances (b007c65w)
The Father Christmas Suit

Hyacinth has decided that as it is Christmas, Richard should help distribute gifts to the old people at the Church Hall, dressed as Father Christmas. Richard, feeling an idiot, goes to show Elizabeth and Emmet, and he and Emmet proceed to get incredibly drunk. Meanwhile, Rose has a new boyfriend called Mr Sudbury, and Onslow and Daisy watch in amazement as Mr Sudbury and Rose dance down the road.

Later, Elizabeth discovers Richard and Emmet, and as Richard is too drunk she decides to dress up in his Father Christmas outfit and drive Hyacinth to the Church Hall. Richard and Emmet follow on the bus.

Hyacinth has invited Richard's Head of Department, Mr Thorgunby, and his wife over for some mulled wine and mince pies. While on her way to the Church Hall with Father Christmas, who she thinks is Richard, she spots Daisy, Onslow and the Thorgunby's on their way to her house. She waylays the Thorgunbys, and takes them to the village hall where she meets the vicar, who tells her that Daddy has gotten very drunk, has shed his clothes and is creating a few problems.

Hyacinth eventually finds Daddy. She also sees Father Christmas being kissed by Onslow, but she discovers that it is Liz, and finds out what happened. Richard, Onslow and Emmet go off to find Daddy's clothes, and Hyacinth, dressed as Father Christmas, puts Daddy in the car. Onslow, thinking Father Christmas is Liz, goes and gives Hyacinth a kiss. Emmet appears, followed by Rose, who kisses him before also kissing the vicar.

Eventually Hyacinth, by this time rather mellowed, invites everyone around to her house for a glass of mulled wine and a hot mince pie, and they all go off happily together.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000vbsr)
Mark Goodier and Anthea Turner present a Top of the Pops Christmas Day special, including a review of the hits that topped the charts in 1990 and featuring performances by The Beautiful South, Elton John and Kylie Minogue.

FRI 21:00 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (p0295qy9)
A rare chance to see Robert Elfstrom's 1969 classic film that captures the Man in Black at his peak, the first of many in a looming rollercoaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon.

Elfstrom got closer than any other film-maker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians - painting an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's death in 2003.

FRI 22:00 Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry (m000hb7k)
Dolly Parton, the undisputed queen of country music, celebrates 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Recorded live in Nashville, this amazing special pays tribute to her songs and career with special performances from Dolly and star guests, including Lady Antebellum, Emmylou Harris and Hank Williams Jr. This incredible concert brings together five decades of hits and memories into one unforgettable evening of entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

Photos copyright Grand Ole Opry, LLC and Chris Hollo.

FRI 23:15 Country Christmas (p0dg591p)

Country Music Christmas 2022, hosted by Carly Pearce, brings some of country music’s most beloved artists together for an intimate night full of holiday classics. Join Dan + Shay, Maren Morris, The War and Treaty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Scotty McCreery, Molly Tuttle and Old Dominion for a show full of Christmas favourites.

FRI 23:55 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.

FRI 00:50 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.

FRI 01:40 Top of the Pops (m000vbsr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:40 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (p0295qy9)
[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 Christmas Carol 22:35 SUN (m0001kwg)

A Christmas History of Sacred Music 01:50 SAT (b00wvdcj)

A Christmas History of Sacred Music 02:15 TUE (b00wvdcj)

A Ghost Story for Christmas 00:15 SAT (m0001qqr)

A Ghost Story for Christmas 00:45 SAT (m0012xmb)

A Ghost Story for Christmas 01:15 SAT (m000cr9v)

A Merry Tudor Christmas with Lucy Worsley 21:00 TUE (m000cfd5)

Are You Being Served? 19:30 THU (b0078zpb)

Country Christmas 23:15 FRI (p0dg591p)

Country Music by Ken Burns 23:55 FRI (m000c5yc)

Country Music by Ken Burns 00:50 FRI (m000c5yf)

Discovering... 01:50 SUN (m00041td)

Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry 22:00 FRI (m000hb7k)

Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell 21:00 MON (b01t03ky)

Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell 01:20 MON (b01t03ky)

Hope Street 01:00 TUE (m001f2vf)

Hope Street 01:00 WED (m001fbg7)

Hope Street 00:40 THU (p0ddg4mc)

James May: My Sisters' Top Toys 02:50 SAT (b008l2vq)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 21:00 FRI (p0295qy9)

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music 02:40 FRI (p0295qy9)

Keeping Up Appearances 19:30 FRI (b007c65w)

Les Dawson on Christmas 19:30 WED (m001gc7g)

Made in Dagenham 21:30 SAT (b01rcc33)

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema 23:50 SUN (m0001ky5)

Natural World 19:30 SAT (b05sz8q8)

Natural World 02:15 WED (b05sz8q8)

Norman Wisdom: His Story 21:00 WED (b00vhmqq)

Painting the Holy Land 00:20 MON (b09y1vzs)

Peter Kosminsky Remembers... Wolf Hall 22:00 MON (m001gc6z)

Schalcken the Painter 22:30 THU (m001gc8r)

Shirley Bassey at the BBC 21:30 THU (b01psct4)

The Classical Collection 00:00 TUE (m001gc87)

The Classical Collection 00:00 WED (m001gc7k)

The Classical Collection 23:40 THU (m001gc8t)

The Good Life 19:30 MON (b0077x05)

The Morecambe and Wise Show 21:30 SUN (b00gw1d0)

The Perfect Morecambe and Wise 19:00 SUN (b04g52q6)

The Perfect Morecambe and Wise 19:30 SUN (b03n2pm7)

The Play What I Wrote 20:00 SUN (m001gc62)

The Shirley Bassey Show 21:00 THU (m001gc8p)

The Truth about Christmas Carols 00:50 SUN (b00gbgt3)

Timeshift 20:00 THU (b008l3cn)

Timeshift 02:25 THU (b008l3cn)

To the Manor Born 19:30 TUE (b0078gxn)

Top of the Pops 20:00 MON (m0012tx7)

Top of the Pops 02:20 MON (m0012tx7)

Top of the Pops 20:00 TUE (b008ptfg)

Top of the Pops 20:00 WED (m0001r5k)

Top of the Pops 01:25 THU (m0001r5k)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000vbsr)

Top of the Pops 01:40 FRI (m000vbsr)

What We Were Watching 20:30 SAT (m0001qys)

Winter Walks 19:00 SAT (m001772c)

Winter Walks 02:50 SUN (m001772c)

Winter Walks 19:00 MON (m000qfrw)

Winter Walks 03:20 MON (m000qfrw)

Winter Walks 19:00 TUE (m000qftx)

Winter Walks 01:45 TUE (m000qftx)

Winter Walks 19:00 WED (m001226k)

Winter Walks 01:45 WED (m001226k)

Winter Walks 19:00 THU (m00122hx)

Winter Walks 19:00 FRI (m00122hp)

Wolf Hall 22:15 MON (p02gfy74)

Wolf Hall 23:20 MON (b05172x8)

Wolf Hall 22:00 TUE (b0520v9d)

Wolf Hall 23:00 TUE (b052sfnf)

Wolf Hall 22:00 WED (b053j5n1)

Wolf Hall 23:00 WED (b0547rvc)

Yes, Minister 23:15 SAT (b0074qsm)