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 (m0008k83)
Series 1

The Olmec Heads

Janina Ramirez travels to Mexico, where, just before the outbreak of WWII, American husband-and-wife explorer team Matthew and Marion Stirling were lured into the jungle by the legend of a colossal stone head. They found the head – and a lot more than they bargained for – because it turned out to be the first clue in a trail that led to the discovery of a lost civilisation, now known as the Olmecs.

As Janina follows in their footsteps through the jungle, she discovers that the go-getting Stirlings embodied the adventurous determination of prewar archaeological explorers. Breaking new ground, the Stirlings realised that it was the Olmecs – not the much-later Mayans or the Aztecs – who built the very first pyramids, palaces and planned cities for which Central America is now so famous.

Janina’s journey takes her to some of the most stunning ancient sites in Mexico as she pieces together the evidence that led the Stirlings to the controversial conclusion that the Olmecs flourished there 3,500 years ago, the same period as ancient Egypt. It is extraordinary to think, before their finds, that we not only had no idea the Olmecs even existed, but no idea any civilisation this ancient existed in Central America. The Stirlings’ work was so important that, very unusually, their expeditions and excavations continued during the war, shot in glorious technicolor by National Geographic. This fantastic archive features throughout the film, intercut with Janina’s modern journey.

SAT 20:00 Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant (p09nlfbm)
Series 1

Episode 3

Book and travel lover Richard E. Grant journeys to Andalucia, visiting Granada, the Alpujarras, the Taja Gorge, Almuñécar and Marbella, 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 Federico García Lorca, Ernest Hemingway, Laurie Lee and JG Ballard, Richard not only learns about the lives of these great authors, but also experiences many of the places immortalised in the literary classics they created.

SAT 21:00 Mystery Road: Origin (p0dp7r3q)
Episode 1

1999. Taciturn constable Jay Swan’s homecoming is greeted by guns, friction with his father and an impact with Mary. Prequel drama revealing the forging of indigenous detective Jay Swan in Western Australia.

SAT 21:55 Mystery Road: Origin (p0dp7s26)
Episode 2

Confronting neo-Nazis is almost as challenging as attending a social event for Jay, while a cold case intrigues lawyer Anousha.

SAT 22:55 Early Doors (m001gzqq)
Series 1

Episode 1

Sitcom series set in a Manchester pub. Fag ends in the urinals and the arrival of temporary traffic lights cause chaos in The Grapes.

SAT 23:25 Early Doors (m001gzqv)
Series 1

Episode 2

Sitcom. Joe's marriage is in crisis, Melanie's boyfriend has a big surprise for her, and the hospital denies all knowledge of Sheila's husband.

SAT 23:55 To the Manor Born (p04bsv48)
Series 3

Station Closing

British Rail decides to close down the local station and Audrey goes into battle.

SAT 00:25 Sykes (m001gqlw)
Series 3

A Bandage

Eric is left looking like a mummy when Hattie practises her first-aid skills. One of the consequences is that he can't get to make the final payment on his motorcycle.

SAT 00:55 Shackleton's Cabin (m001grr7)
On 5 January 1922, world-famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack in his cabin aboard The Quest during his final expedition to the South Pole. Moored in Norway, The Quest was broken apart. However, one of the dockers had the foresight to remove Shackleton’s cabin. He took it home and it served as his family’s garden shed for three generations.

Nearly 100 years after Shackleton’s death, the cabin has been donated to a museum in the explorer’s hometown, where master craftsman and Shackleton enthusiast Sven Habermann painstakingly restores it to its former glory. With only one surviving photograph of the cabin’s interior, Sven goes to extreme lengths to retrace every detail, from the wood to the original wallpaper used. Shackleton’s Cabin follows Sven as he rebuilds the cabin and explores the life and final days of his hero.

SAT 01:45 Wild China (b00bybp3)
Tides of Change

Documentary series featuring pioneering images that capture the dazzling array of mysterious and wonderful creatures populating China's most beautiful landscapes.

Ancient tea-growing cultures, traditional seaweed-thatched villages, bird-filled wetlands, rare white dolphins, snake-infested islands and futuristic cities jostle along China's fertile eastern seaboard, which marks the front line in the scramble for resources and space between 700 million people and a surprising wealth of wildlife.

SAT 02:50 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m0008k83)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]


SUN 19:00 Come Dancing (m001gzs8)

Episode 2

Terry Wogan introduces the BBC's interregional amateur dance contest from Southampton's Top Rank. Home Counties South compete against North East. Ray Moore commentates on latin, ballroom, old time, formation and disco.

SUN 19:45 BBC Young Musician (m000xnz2)
2004: Nicola Benedetti's Prizewinning Performance

In 2004, 16-year-old violinist Nicola Benedetti won BBC Young Musician of the Year. This is her winning recital at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama from the semi-final stage of the competition. Playing works by Saint-Saens, Janacek and Judith Bingham on a 1751 Guarnerius violin, Nicola also had to cope with a faulty chin rest.

SUN 20:00 Twelfth Night from Shakespeare’s Globe (m001gzsb)
Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity and the madness of love finds new life in this production from London’s Globe Theatre. Illyria is a society in limbo, held captive by loss until a sea-drenched stranger arrives and unexpectedly unleashes the chaotic and transformative power of love.

Wild, surprising, fierce and funny, this 2021 production of Shakespeare’s comedy is directed by Globe associate artistic director Sean Holmes and is infused with mesmeric nostalgia and soulful music from the world of Americana.

SUN 22:35 Shakespeare in Italy (b01h7p6k)
Land of Love

Francesco da Mosto takes to the Italian road again in search of Shakespeare in Italy. From Romeo and Juliet to the jealousy of Othello, Shakespeare used the land of love to tell his most passionate stories about falling in love. Needless to say, along the way Francesco adds some insights of his own and revels in claims that not only did Shakespeare visit Italy, but also was born in Sicily. It's a whole new take on the Bard!

SUN 23:35 Shakespeare in Italy (b01hpfhz)
Land of Fortune

Francesco da Mosto takes a look at Italy as the land of adventure and ambition - where fortunes are made and battles are fought.

Beginning in Venice with actor Ciaran Hinds, Francesco considers how his home town so renowned for its justice struck Shakespeare as the perfect setting for his disturbing tale of what happens to an outsider who goes against the law in The Merchant of Venice.

Heading south to Rome, Francesco discovers how in his great Roman plays Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare used this ancient city as a smokescreen to address the most burning political issues of his day while avoiding trouble with the Elizabethan censors. Francesco meets Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance, and also pops in to Rome's very own Globe to understand modern Italy's fascination with our English Bard.

Finally he travels from Naples to the beautiful Island of Stromboli, just off the north coast of Sicily, a magical setting for Shakespeare's final great masterpiece - The Tempest.

SUN 00:35 Discovering... (m00062dv)
Series 1

Graal Théâtre - Kaija Saariaho

Tom Service presents a detailed analysis of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Théâtre followed by a performance of the work by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ludovic Morlot.

Contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho wrote Graal Théâtre in 1994. A haunting, explosive violin concerto, it has become one of the Finnish composer’s most frequently performed pieces. Before the piece is performed in full by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the MediaCity Studio in Salford, Tom Service speaks both to members of the orchestra and to Peter Herresthal, the soloist, about this relentlessly electrifying and technically demanding music. Peter demonstrates the techniques involved in producing the crunching strings and distorted effects demanded by the score. We learn how Saariaho, herself a violinist, crafted the work to reflect her own tempestuous relationship with the instrument.

Speaking to other members of the orchestra, Tom sees how Saariaho uses the entire ensemble to create a range of different colours building up to dazzling textures. The extremes of Saariaho’s score see the orchestra interacting both in harmony and in conflict with one another.

Loosely based on medieval tales from Arthurian legend, we explore the importance of these stories to the structure of Saariaho’s piece. Tom also learns of the composer’s tutelage at the French institution IRCAM, an underground labyrinth of electronic and electro-acoustic experimentation beneath the Pompidou Centre in Paris, founded by French composer Pierre Boulez. Saariaho’s time at IRCAM profoundly shaped the unique electronic, symphonic style found in this astonishing work.

SUN 01:35 Front Row Late (m0002fsr)
Series 4

When Mary Beard Met Philip Pullman

In a wide-ranging conversation, Pullman talks to Mary Beard about his love of language, rhythm and myth, his fears for the loss of civic decency in Britain, and, as a former teacher, his opinions on the contemporary education system.

Pullman also reveals that achieving success later in life is preferable to early stardom and discusses relinquishing his work to screenwriters for adaptations for the big and small screen.

SUN 02:15 Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant (p09nlfbm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 Great Indian Railway Journeys (b09ynd5n)
Series 1

Mysuru to Chennai

Michael Portillo's Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel leads him on railway journey through the modern south Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, from the former princely state of Mysore to the first stronghold of the East India Company in Chennai, formerly Madras.

In Mysuru, Michael pitches in at a game of street cricket then smartens up to meet the Maharaja at the magnificent Mysore Palace. Michael's Bradshaw's tells him of an exceptional maharaja of the early 20th century, who sowed the seeds of the region's prosperity, and Michael finds his legacy in the Carnatic music he patronised and the flourishing local silk industry.

At sunset Michael joins selfie-stick wielding crowds back at the palace as they wait to capture it being illuminated by thousands of bulbs. An early morning yoga class is the perfect way to stretch out before boarding a train to Bengalaru. After a sticky encounter with a mango, he meets the entrepreneurs whose innovations are driving India's hi-tech boom with inventions from mobile heart scanners to cooking apps. In a Bengalaru suburb, Whitefield, Michael hunts for the remains of a utopian Anglo-Indian settlement, before sampling fusion food, Bradshaw's-style, in the guise of Mulligatawny soup and spiced-up bread and butter pudding. Michael's Bradshaw's leads him east to Bangarapet where he explores the eerie ruins that are all that remains of what was once the world's deepest gold mine. An air-conditioned superfast double-decker express speeds Portillo to the sprawling coastal city of Chennai, where he hitches a ride on a Royal Enfield motorbike and visits the famous Madras Club for gentlemen to find out more about The East India Company's beginnings in India.

MON 20:00 Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream (b0851kfd)
Episode 2

Simon Sebag Montefiore tells the story of Vienna, triumphant after the Ottoman threat receded at the end of the 17th century. No longer an outpost defending the west from Islamic invaders, the imperial capital was to become the most glittering in the world. The Habsburg emperors transformed the city from a fortress into a great cultural capital. Vienna became a city that would define the arts; a magnet for musicians, including Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.

MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b0bgfwdn)
Series 3


At the Manchester Art Gallery, Dr Bendor Grosvenor discovers a painting of a country gentleman from the 1770s which he believes has been misattributed to Nathaniel Dance-Holland. He feels sure it is in fact by the German painter Johann Zoffany, a favourite portraitist of the royal family under King George III. While the painting is restored, Bendor investigates the life of Zoffany - a chancer and adventurer who squandered his royal patronage through a series of predictable errors of judgement.

Travelling to Florence to see the location of Zoffany's greatest painting, the Tribuna of the Uffizi Gallery, Bendor also visits Parma, where Zoffany painted an extraordinary self-portrait. The artist ended his career in India, where he made a fortune, and Bendor goes to look at Colonel Mordaunt's Cock Match in Tate Britain with art historian Sona Datta. They unpack the undercurrent of sexual innuendo Zoffany had filled the picture with.

Emma Dabiri investigates Manchester's support for the abolition of slavery through the history of the gallery's first purchase - a portrait of the black American actor Ira Aldridge. She discovers the story of the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857, the largest art exhibition ever held in Britain, and looks into the Manchester Gallery attacks by three suffragettes in 1913.

MON 22:00 The US and the Holocaust (p0dm3cwv)
Series 1

The Golden Door (Beginnings-1938)

After decades of open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts the United States to pass laws restricting immigration. In Germany, Hitler finds support for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, and the Nazis begin their persecution of Jewish people, causing many to flee to neighbouring countries or America. Franklin D Roosevelt and other world leaders are concerned by the growing refugee crisis, but they fail to coordinate a response.

MON 00:00 Ireland to Sydney by Any Means (b00dykzw)
Episode 5

Now in far flung Vietnam, Charley joins thousands of local bikers on a Minsk motorcycle rally, and makes his way over to Halong Bay to see the beauty of the Thousand Islands and meet traditional pearl makers. However, it is not long before this peaceful excursion takes a turn for the worse - nerves are quickly on edge as the team, now onboard a very small speedboat on rough seas, are pounded by the water. A wave kills the small engine just as the boat swings in towards the rocks, but the team's loud screaming alerts a nearby fishing boat, who luckily manages to pull them out of danger just in time.

Charley gets back on track behind the wheel of a US military jeep to visit some of the most significant places from the Vietnam War, such as Vinh Moc and its infamous underground tunnel network, built by the villagers to escape the devastation.

In Laos and Cambodia, Charley experiences the wonders of the Mekong River on board a powerful rocket boat. Enjoying the largest waterfalls in South East Asia and then dirt biking his way around the countryside, he finally marvels at the 11th century ruins of Angkor Wat.

Traveling south through Thailand and Malaysia, Charley tries out an unfamiliar form of transport to cross to Singapore - wakeboarding. Successfully across and now on Nikoi Island, Charley is to board a small cargo boat that looks well beyond its sell-by-date. After some pre-departure prayers with the crew, it's not long before they are far out at sea and the second bout of boating bad luck strikes - the boat has sprung a leak, and is rapidly taking in water.

MON 01:00 The Capture (m00085sv)
Series 1

What Happens in Helmand

When soldier Shaun Emery’s conviction for a murder in Afghanistan is overturned due to flawed video evidence, he returns to life as a free man with his young daughter. But when damning CCTV footage from a night out in London comes to light, Shaun’s life takes a shocking turn and he must soon fight for his freedom once again. Newly promoted DI Rachel Carey is drafted in to investigate Shaun’s case, and she quickly learns that the truth can sometimes be a matter of perspective. Should she trust Shaun Emery?

MON 01:55 The Capture (m0008cq8)
Series 1

Toy Soldier

The truth about Shaun Emery's crime isn’t as clear as it first appeared to DI Carey, as crucial CCTV evidence is redacted by a mysterious MI5 officer. This surprise development forces Carey, Flynn and Latif to scramble for more evidence. But with forensics drawing a blank on Shaun's car, Commander Hart offering little support, and weak witness statements, Carey is forced to release Shaun. After a run-in with his ex-partner Karen, who is enraged by his failure to pick up their daughter from school, Shaun is determined to prove his innocence and enlists best mate Mat to help him break into Hannah’s apartment in search of clues. Closely followed by a suspicious Carey on CCTV, and Flynn and Latif on foot, Shaun somehow manages to evade Carey’s watch, forcing her to question an even more problematic issue – the surveillance network itself.

MON 02:55 The Capture (m0008kgv)
Series 1

Truffle Hog

The stakes intensify for Shaun as he is interrogated by inscrutable US agent Frank Napier at a covert CIA outpost in a Belgravia safe house. While Napier is trying to discover Hannah's whereabouts, Carey is simultaneously attempting and failing to locate Shaun in the Belgravia house she saw him enter on her CCTV watch.


TUE 19:00 Great Indian Railway Journeys (b09zg7vg)
Series 1

Lucknow to Kolkata

On an epic railway journey from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata in West Bengal, Michael Portillo uses his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, published when the British Raj was 55 years old, to chart a course through India's history from the days of The East India Company to the dawn of independence.

In Lucknow, Michael tastes the famous local kebabs before seeking the truth about 1857 Siege of Lucknow, a key moment in the rebellion which precipitated the end of The East India Company's grip on India and the start of direct British rule. After a classical kathak dance class, Michael boards the sleeper train towards Ghazipur, on the banks of the Ganges. Taking to the sacred waters by boat, he hears the murky story of The East India Company's opium monopoly, then visits a modern-day opium factory making pharmaceuticals.

Following the 1907-built Grand Chord Railway, Portillo stops off at Bodh Gaya, where he meditates on its Buddhist heritage. Further up the line is Chitteranjan locomotive works, and an extraordinary 980-metre-long locomotive workshop. In Kolkata, established as the capital of British India in the days of The East India Company, Michael battles the crowds at India's busiest station and glimpses colonial Calcutta in the grand Great Eastern Hotel. A Kolkata tram carries him to the former home of pro-independence poet Rabindranath Tagore, the 'Bard of Bengal' and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Finally, Michael takes up the thread of India's long journey towards nationhood at a traditional textile workshop. He hears how a boycott of British cloth inspired Mahatma Gandhi and joins a fashion shoot to see how India's home-grown textiles are celebrated today.

TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b007bl9n)
Series 3

Horse vs Cars

Stately sitcom. A repair bill for Audrey's Rolls-Royce finally convinces her to revert to four-legged horsepower.

TUE 20:30 The Mistress (m001gzvq)
Series 1

Episode 1

Sitcom series written by Carla Lane. Felicity Kendall stars as the mistress of Luke, played by Jack Galloway, who is married to Helen, played by Jane Asher.

TUE 21:00 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074kwx)
Series 1


Simon Schama begins his history of Britain with a visit to the miraculously preserved Stone Age cottages of Skara Brae in Orkney and then moves all the way to the world of Anglo-Saxon England, newly converted to Christinanity, and plagued by Vikings. He describes how a nation was conceived by war, trade, migrations of peoples, religion, and an infatuation with Rome.

TUE 22:00 Catching Britain's Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us (m00095q5)
Series 1


This episode begins in Leicestershire in the heart of England, in the 1980s.

In 1983 and then only three years later, in 1986, the villages of Narborough and Enderby were shaken by the murders of two local teenage girls who were attacked and killed in very similar circumstances.

Weaving together archive footage and interviews with police officers, local journalists and forensic scientists, as well as friends and close relatives of the victims, this programme tells the story of the investigation, and how the struggle to find the killer would lead to the very first use of a brand new forensic science – DNA fingerprinting.

Following the course of this incredible scientific breakthrough and its use in the Leicestershire murders investigation, the episode explores the creation of Britain’s DNA database, a world first, as well as the development and evolution of this investigative tool which would lead to convictions for crimes that had, until then, been impossible to solve.

Exploring the ripples of one single investigation and the coincidences, twists and turns that led to this historic breakthrough, the programme paints a portrait of the 1980s as well as revealing the unforeseen, unfolding consequences of this pivotal investigation that has changed crime detection around the world.

TUE 23:00 Ancient Worlds (b00w0dqx)
Come Together

Archaeologist and historian Richard Miles explores the roots of one of the most profound innovations in the human story - civilisation - in the first episode of an epic series that runs from the creation of the first cities in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Starting in Uruk, the 'mother of all cities', in southern Iraq, Richard travels to Syria, Egypt, Anatolia and Greece, tracing the birth and development of technology and culture.

TUE 00:00 Ireland to Sydney by Any Means (b00f2f40)
Episode 6

Tension fills the air as the team's waterlogged cargo boat begins to sink; they are on their way to Borneo to help with a Unicef vaccination project. With the boat out of action they have to find another way.

Three hundred miles of lush rainforest later, Charley and the Unicef team arrive with the vaccines in a village up the Pawan River, deep in the heart of Kalimantan on Borneo. Having missed the one ferry that would take them to Bali, the team have no choice but to double back and fly to their destination.

From Bali, Charley embarks upon a series of boat journeys navigating his way across the Indonesian archipelago. From speedboats to hand built traditional phinisi boats and hugely overcrowded ferries, he makes his way to Kupang.

After a turbulent five-day crossing from Kupang on board a handmade boat, Charley and the team are delighted to finally hit the shores of Australia - the end of the journey is in sight!

Despite being on the right continent, there is a huge distance to cover across the outback. The team decide to take the most direct route to Sydney over the Snowy Mountains, but are thwarted by bad weather. Charley tests out all sorts of weird and wonderful forms of transport from campervans to camels and road graders to road trains. On the last leg into Sydney, Charley leads an epic biker convoy over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The trip that started life on the back of a boarding pass, that charted a journey from Ireland to Sydney using over a 100 means of transport in 102 days, is complete.

TUE 01:00 The Capture (m0008s7m)
Series 1

Blind Spots

Surveillance thriller. Carey develops a theory as answers begin to reveal themselves, and Shaun finds himself trusting an enigmatic stranger who promises to lead him to the truth.

TUE 01:55 The Capture (m0008zv5)
Series 1

A Pilgrim of Justice

Surrounded by the architects of his downfall, the truth behind what happened to Shaun is revealed to him in precise detail. Meanwhile, having seen the footage of Hannah entering the bus, and wholly convinced now that Shaun has been set up, Carey seeks for answers of her own and uncovers the complex conspiracy that is Correction.

TUE 02:55 The Capture (m000969y)
Series 1


Carey teams up with Shaun Emery to try and expose Correction, but Napier is one step ahead. Shaun’s future, and that of the nation’s system of justice, lie with one person. Carey has a decision to make.


WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fg7)
Series 10

Warrington to Preston

Armed with his early 20th century Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey through Britain’s industrial heartland in the footsteps of King George V. Starting at what was then the gateway to Lancashire - Warrington - Michael discovers this was no ordinary royal tour. He learns how it began with huge excitement among townsfolk, whose mayor Dr George Joseph received the royal party in the parlour of Warrington’s magnificent town hall.

Following the royal route, Michael heads to Huyton to the seat of the Stanley family, Knowsley Hall, where he finds King George V and Queen Mary were accommodated and entertained in grand style by the 17th Earl of Derby. His great-grandson, the 19th earl, takes Michael behind the scenes.

Travelling on to Leyland, Michael visits the Hutton and Howick Women’s Institute, the first to be created in Lancashire, to learn about its suffragette origins and founder Edith Rigby. Michael helps to make some pink fabric flowers, then joins the chorus for women’s suffrage.
Michael arrives in Preston at one of his favourite railway stations and heads for Preston North End’s Deepdale football stadium, where he discovers the origins of one of Britain’s earliest and most successful women’s football teams, the Dick Kerr Ladies.

WED 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000hjkv)
Series 1

Mountain Path

American painter Bob Ross offers soothing words of encouragement to viewers and painting hobbyists in an enormously popular series that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1982. Ross is a cult figure, with nearly two million Facebook followers and 3,000 instructors globally. His soothing, nurturing personality is therapy for the weary, and his respect for nature and wildlife helps heighten environmental awareness.

In this series, Ross demonstrates his unique painting technique, which eliminates the need for each layer of paint to dry. In real time, he creates tranquil scenes taken from nature, including his trademark ‘happy’ clouds, cascading waterfalls, snow-covered forests, serene lakes and distant mountain summits.

Many of Bob’s faithful viewers are not painters at all. They are relaxing and unwinding with Bob’s gentle manner and encouraging words, captivated by the magic taking place on the canvas.

Join Bob, in this first programme in the series, for a happy half hour as he creates one of his beautiful mountain and evergreen scenes, complete with paths and ample bushes.

WED 20:00 Michael Palin's New Europe (b007zmt3)
War and Peace

Michael Palin explores the countries that were for much of his life hidden behind the Iron Curtain but now are very much part of the new Europe of post-Soviet times. From high in the Julian Alps of Slovenia, along the magical coast of Croatia and deep into Bosnia and Serbia, he discovers new countries coming to terms with the bloody wars that created them and now enjoying the peace that prevails. From Dubrovnik, he sails to Albania where he finds a country adapting to a new openness.

WED 21:00 Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace (b04tt1yj)
A very personal portrait of the truly unique comedy genius of Spike Milligan, as told in his own words and featuring exclusive home movie footage. With contributions from those who worked with him, lived with him and were inspired by him.

WED 22:30 The Old Devils (p0437phj)
Love, Lust and Litre Bottles

TV personality and 'professional Welshman' Alun Weaver bounds back into his old friends' lives for an alcoholic wander through old age.

WED 23:20 The Old Devils (p0437qcn)
Rhiannon's Boys

Returned to his roots, Alun is interviewed on TV while his friends watch. Rhiannon goes out with Malcolm and Charlie.

WED 00:15 The Old Devils (p04383rm)
Clapped-Out Casanovas

In the last part of this Kingsley Amis adaptation, Alun makes one last attempt to write the great Welsh novel, but tragedy strikes.

WED 01:10 Hope Street (p0ddglht)
Series 2

Episode 7

Marlene is faced with a problem when some prize-winning racing pigeons are stolen – she’s allergic to birds. As a result, Al and Callum investigate the theft. They soon discover that the owner, Hugh McCoy, has been diagnosed with ‘Pigeon Lung’ – a rare condition that could kill him. His long-suffering wife Susan reckons that the person who stole the birds has done Hugh a favour.

WED 01:55 Shakespeare in Italy (b01h7p6k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:35 on Sunday]

WED 02:55 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b0bgfwdn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday]


THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fl0)
Series 10

Blackburn to Manchester

Michael Portillo continues his rail tour of Britain’s industrial northwest, steered by his early nineteenth century Bradshaw’s guide.

In Blackburn, he catches a rare glimpse of Edwardian life on celluloid and marvels at how factory workers and schoolchildren alike were drawn to seek fame on film.

Continuing east to Nelson, Michael braves the enemy camp to have a pint of tea with the socialist working classes in Britain’s last Clarion House. Way out of his comfort zone, he is heartened by their warm welcome.

Taking his rail campaign south, Michael reaches a magnificently renovated mid-19th century Manchester Victoria station, from where he heads to the Manchester Art Gallery to investigate reports of an outrage in 1913.

Michael discovers the former home, now a museum and women’s centre, of the radical family that advocated such outrages, the Pankhursts. He hears from the curator what motivated Emmeline and her daughters, Christabel and Sylvia and learns how they made themselves heard.

THU 19:30 The Joy of Painting (m000hjky)
Series 1

Nature's Paradise

Follow American painter Bob Ross as he creates a fantastic mountain scene, with spectacular red peaks looming over a lazy, tree-lined stream, in just half an hour.

THU 20:00 Elizabeth I's Secret Agents (b09c6q44)
Series 1

Episode 1

In this episode, we find England alone - a Protestant nation in a largely Catholic Europe. Then, 12 years into Elizabeth's reign, the pope declares her a heretic, which in the hearts of England's Catholics gives them permission to kill her. Queen Elizabeth looks to her spymaster William Cecil to stop the Catholic assassins getting through. Cecil establishes a huge espionage network - England's first secret service. His spies break Catholic conspiracies at home and abroad.

Cecil's network is put on high alert by intelligence from a source in Catholic Europe. As a result he catches a courier carrying coded letters that lead Cecil to unravel a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and install her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne. Now Cecil will not rest until Mary, the figurehead for every Catholic threat and repository of Catholic hopes, is eliminated. In order to protect a queen, Cecil must kill one.

Cecil now creates an elaborate Elizabethan sting. He incubates a Catholic plot to assassinate the queen and lures Mary into it. But will Mary fall for the bait and seal her fate. Mary does walk right into Cecil's trap, but even then the spymaster's aim is thwarted by a queen who refuses to execute her own cousin. Cecil knows Mary must die if Elizabeth is to live, but now that means he must defy his own queen and risk the end of his career - and perhaps his life.

THU 21:00 Witness (m000gpnc)
Hardened Philadelphia cop John Book is assigned to the investigation when a child witnesses a savage murder. But when the boy identifies a policeman as one of the killers, Book realises that they are in imminent danger. Forced to flee the city, Book takes the boy and his mother back to their home among the reclusive Amish community, where he slowly assimilates into their unfamiliar way of life.

THU 22:45 Manhunter (m001grj1)
FBI criminal profiler Will Graham is called out of early retirement to assist on a serial murder case involving a killer known as the Tooth Fairy. Graham enlists the help of imprisoned serial killer and cannibal Dr Hannibal Lecktor, who is the reason Graham took an early retirement.

Soon, Graham and the FBI are entangled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the Tooth Fairy, Lecktor and an interfering journalist.

THU 00:40 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0090b89)
Series 1

Japan to China

The ancient and the modern clash deliciously in Japan while the Terracotta army and the Great Wall of China boast the brilliance of ancient imperial China – Dan Cruickshank embarks on the fourth leg of his journey round the world to map man's greatest creations in history.

The sword of a Samurai warrior is his first and slightly menacing choice, but Dan is captivated by the artistry employed in making this most beautiful instrument of death. By contrast, he finds solace and tranquillity in a Japanese temple and meditation garden.

In China, the tension of war and peace reasserts itself as he walks the Great Wall of China and contemplates the massed ranks of the Terracotta Army – 8,000 soldiers all individually modelled on real people from 2,000 years ago. Again, he finds peace in a unique creation – the empress of China's marble boat – a miraculous and surreal vision on the waters of the Summer Palace lake.

As the smog of modern China descends, Dan finds his attempts to see the ancient porcelain of the Forbidden City challenged before making his escape to the space age world of high-rise Shanghai.

THU 01:40 Great British Railway Journeys (m0002fg7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Wednesday]

THU 02:10 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074kwx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001h025)
Tony Dortie presents the pop chart programme, first shown on 6 January 1994 and featuring D:Ream, Dina Carroll, East 17, The Mission, DJ Duke, Wet Wet Wet and Chaka Demus & Pliers, plus a guest appearance from Pan’s People.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001h027)
Mark Franklin presents the pop chart programme, first shown on 13 January 1994 and featuring Culture Beat, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting, K7, CeCe Peniston, The The, Eternal, Bitty McLean and Chaka Demus & Pliers.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b019jsrb)
David Hamilton introduces Pussycat, Barry Biggs, Liverpool Express, David Parton, Gallagher & Lyle and Status Quo. Dance sequence by Legs & Co.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (b0888q6x)
John Peel and David Jensen present the weekly look at the pop charts, first broadcast on 13 January 1983. Featuring Incantation, Men at Work, Sharon Redd, Keith Harris and Orville, The Belle Stars, John Williams, Eddy Grant, The Maisonettes, Phil Collins and Donna Summer.

FRI 21:00 Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham (b08lnlhz)
Series 1

Episode 1

Music and history combine as renowned Scottish performer Phil Cunningham explores age-old musical connections between Scotland, Ulster and America. Featuring a wealth of music, sacred and secular, this episode includes performances from Paul Brady and Rhiannon Giddens.

FRI 22:00 Transatlantic Sessions (b00gq7hv)
Series 1

Episode 1

Folk musicians come together in what have been called 'the greatest backporch shows ever'.

Musicians Aly Bain from Shetland and Jay Ungar from New York are joined by top country and traditional singers, songwriters and instrumentalists from Scotland, Ireland and North America.

In this edition, US star Emmylou Harris and Ireland's Mary Black sing Wheels of love, Canada's Michelle Wright performs Guitar Talk with Scotland's Karen Matheson, and Nashville star Kathy Mattea duets with Dougie MacLean from Scotland. Also on the bill, Iris DeMent, John Martyn, Russ Barenberg and Guy Clarke.

FRI 22:30 Transatlantic Sessions (b00gvk8v)
Series 1

Episode 2

Aly Bain and Jay Ungar introduce performances featuring singers, musicians and songwriters from Scotland, Ireland and North America.

In this edition, Nashville star Kathy Mattea duets with Scotland's John Martyn, Capercaillie's Karen Matheson sings with Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Ireland's Mary Black duets with American star Emmylou Harris, and Aly performs with harpist Savourna Stevenson.

FRI 23:00 imagine... (b06qqrk9)
Autumn 2015

The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson

Julien Temple updates the remarkable story of Dr Feelgood musician Wilko Johnson. Reflecting on his impending death following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Johnson muses on the transformative power of mortality. Determined to live out his remaining months playing music, he records an album with Roger Daltrey in a mere eight days and embarks on a series of farewell tours. Yet, there is an unexpected twist in the tale, captured here by Julien Temple and interwoven with remarkable archive footage and music.

FRI 00:35 Punk at the BBC (b01k1nhx)
An archive celebration of BBC studio performances from the British bands that broke through courtesy of punk, from its pub rock roots with Dr Feelgood to its explosive heyday with The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and many more.

FRI 01:35 Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham (b08lnlhz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]

FRI 02:35 Top of the Pops (m001h025)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 03:05 Top of the Pops (m001h027)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

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

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 21:00 TUE (b0074kwx)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 02:10 THU (b0074kwx)

Ancient Worlds 23:00 TUE (b00w0dqx)

Around the World in 80 Treasures 00:40 THU (b0090b89)

BBC Young Musician 19:45 SUN (m000xnz2)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 21:00 MON (b0bgfwdn)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 02:55 WED (b0bgfwdn)

Catching Britain's Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us 22:00 TUE (m00095q5)

Come Dancing 19:00 SUN (m001gzs8)

Discovering... 00:35 SUN (m00062dv)

Early Doors 22:55 SAT (m001gzqq)

Early Doors 23:25 SAT (m001gzqv)

Elizabeth I's Secret Agents 20:00 THU (b09c6q44)

Front Row Late 01:35 SUN (m0002fsr)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m0002fg7)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m0002fl0)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:40 THU (m0002fg7)

Great Indian Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (b09ynd5n)

Great Indian Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (b09zg7vg)

Hope Street 01:10 WED (p0ddglht)

Ireland to Sydney by Any Means 00:00 MON (b00dykzw)

Ireland to Sydney by Any Means 00:00 TUE (b00f2f40)

Manhunter 22:45 THU (m001grj1)

Michael Palin's New Europe 20:00 WED (b007zmt3)

Mystery Road: Origin 21:00 SAT (p0dp7r3q)

Mystery Road: Origin 21:55 SAT (p0dp7s26)

Punk at the BBC 00:35 FRI (b01k1nhx)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 19:00 SAT (m0008k83)

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 02:50 SAT (m0008k83)

Shackleton's Cabin 00:55 SAT (m001grr7)

Shakespeare in Italy 22:35 SUN (b01h7p6k)

Shakespeare in Italy 23:35 SUN (b01hpfhz)

Shakespeare in Italy 01:55 WED (b01h7p6k)

Spike Milligan: Love, Light and Peace 21:00 WED (b04tt1yj)

Sykes 00:25 SAT (m001gqlw)

The Capture 01:00 MON (m00085sv)

The Capture 01:55 MON (m0008cq8)

The Capture 02:55 MON (m0008kgv)

The Capture 01:00 TUE (m0008s7m)

The Capture 01:55 TUE (m0008zv5)

The Capture 02:55 TUE (m000969y)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 WED (m000hjkv)

The Joy of Painting 19:30 THU (m000hjky)

The Mistress 20:30 TUE (m001gzvq)

The Old Devils 22:30 WED (p0437phj)

The Old Devils 23:20 WED (p0437qcn)

The Old Devils 00:15 WED (p04383rm)

The US and the Holocaust 22:00 MON (p0dm3cwv)

To the Manor Born 23:55 SAT (p04bsv48)

To the Manor Born 20:00 TUE (b007bl9n)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001h025)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001h027)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (b019jsrb)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (b0888q6x)

Top of the Pops 02:35 FRI (m001h025)

Top of the Pops 03:05 FRI (m001h027)

Transatlantic Sessions 22:00 FRI (b00gq7hv)

Transatlantic Sessions 22:30 FRI (b00gvk8v)

Twelfth Night from Shakespeare’s Globe 20:00 SUN (m001gzsb)

Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream 20:00 MON (b0851kfd)

Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham 21:00 FRI (b08lnlhz)

Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham 01:35 FRI (b08lnlhz)

Wild China 01:45 SAT (b00bybp3)

Witness 21:00 THU (m000gpnc)

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant 20:00 SAT (p09nlfbm)

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant 02:15 SUN (p09nlfbm)

imagine... 23:00 FRI (b06qqrk9)