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 Michael Palin: The Art of Travel (m001kjgv)
Series 1


Michael Palin discovers that the Great Western Railway had the most sophisticated public relations machine of all the railway companies between the two world wars, producing high-quality publications and promotional gimmicks.

SAT 19:10 Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (p00xb6z3)
Episode 2

Michael Palin moves from the busy streets of Chicago to a suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. Here, in a town that Hemingway apparently called a place of 'wide lawns and narrow minds', his ambitious and creative mother dressed him as a girl and wrote some melancholy music.

Later, in Michigan, Michael visits the family summer cottage. He tries fishing and shooting, which according to Hemingway's young diaries were his favourite sports. Michael then travels to Europe and arrives at Milan station. After a quick course in first aid, he finds himself behind the wheel of an ambulance. He goes to the Italian front where Hemingway was shot and wounded and ends up at Italy's largest war memorial in Redipuglia.

Michael drives a tank in Paris and visits Hemingway's shoe-box apartment. He ends up in American hospital in Neuilly, after an encounter with a broken lavatory chain and a skylight.

SAT 20:00 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000ngdw)
Series 1

Episode 2

This episode explores how the success of Around the World in 80 Days opened the door for Michael Palin to tackle an even more ambitious journey for his next series. In Pole to Pole, Michael followed the line of 30-degree-east longitude from North Pole to South, an incredibly challenging route across the USSR, Africa and finally Antarctica.

In the Arctic, Michael meets a solitary trapper who hunts for survival. Then, entering the USSR for the first time, Michael encounters the reality of life and bureaucracy under communism as he visits markets and tries to get a token to allow him to buy vodka. A detour to Chernobyl gives him a sobering insight into that disaster and its effects, but overall it is the warmth of the Russian and Ukrainian people that is the dominant memory he takes away. Two days after he leaves, there is a coup against Gorbachev, and the Soviet system starts to unravel - a truly historical moment.

In Turkey, Michael relaxes with a bath and massage that turns out to be more vigorous than he had bargained for. Then he tackles the biggest challenge of all – Africa. From Egypt, where he spends time with some tourists from his own hometown of Sheffield, Michael travels south through Sudan, where few tourists ever venture. Travelling by train across the desert to Khartoum, he has a magical experience riding on the roof and meeting the passengers who travel up there for free. But then the reality of war-torn Africa hits home as he is prevented from travelling south along the route he had chosen. A trip across Sudan by jeep sees Michael almost get stuck in a volatile recent war zone, but he presses on through the heart of the continent to South Africa, to meet a ship that will take him to the Antarctic. But Michael faces one final obstacle. Having failed to secure passage, he is forced to fly to Chile to make a new connection and complete his epic journey to the South Pole.

SAT 21:00 Luzzu (m001kjgx)
Jesmark, like his father before him, makes a precarious living from fishing on his 12-foot luzzu on the inshore waters of Malta. On learning that his infant son is not showing normal growth and needs specialist attention, his financial situation becomes critical, and he has to make a potentially life-changing decision.

In Maltese and English with English subtitles.

SAT 22:30 Nighty Night (b0074cd6)
Series 1

Episode 1

Comedy series about the owner of a suburban beauty salon who sees her husband’s terminal illness as a fresh start for herself. She immediately falls for a new doctor, who moves into the house opposite, with his wheelchair-using wife.

SAT 23:00 Nighty Night (b0074cdh)
Series 1

Episode 2

Comedy series about the owner of a suburban beauty salon who sees her husband’s terminal illness as a fresh start for herself. Jill decides to infiltrate Cath and Don’s lives further by inviting Don round for dinner. But her plans for a romantic evening are thwarted when Cath decides to come along as well.

SAT 23:30 As Time Goes By (p045tmrl)
Series 1

The Picnic

Realising how absurd it is that Judy and Alistair have feelings for Jean and Lionel instead of each other, the elders plan a picnic to show them that they are meant to be together.

SAT 00:00 Paris Police 1900 (p09tqk78)
Series 1

Episode 3

Jouin has fallen in love with a young woman called Jeanne Chauvin, who is a qualified lawyer but cannot practice due to her sex. Instead, she is employed by Maitre Weidmann in the Jewish quarter of La Villette. Jeanne agrees to help the young inspector with the Berger case. In the meantime, Meg entertains Madame Lepine, whose drug habit has come to the attention of Puybaraud.

In French with English subtitles

SAT 02:00 Paris Police 1900 (p09tqkhr)
Series 1

Episode 4

At La Surete, all efforts are being made to solve the Josephine Berger case – the police need to show they have things under control. In the days leading up to the Dreyfus retrial, tensions are running high in the streets of Paris. Against a background of political instability and personal scandal, Lepine makes a blatant display of his might. Meanwhile, Meg is becoming increasingly aware of how dangerous a game she is playing.

In French with English subtitles

SAT 02:55 Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (p00xb6z3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]


SUN 19:00 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b00791vw)
The Romantic North

Francesco da Mosto gets romantic in Juliet's home town of Verona, witnesses the birth of western art, has a fashion makeover from Giorgio Armani, is invited into a closed convent to see the tomb of the most notorious woman in European history, and goes deep-sea diving in pursuit of a childhood dream.

SUN 20:00 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.

SUN 21:00 Timeshift (b00nf0nl)
Series 9

The Golden Age of Liners

Paul Atterbury embarks on an alluring journey into the golden age of ocean liners, finding out how these great ships made such a mark on the popular imagination and why they continue to enchant to this day.

Paul's voyage takes him around Britain and reveals a story of design, politics, propaganda, Hollywood glamour and tragedy. Along the way, he uncovers some amazing survivals from the liners of the past - a cinema in Scotland built from the interiors of the SS Homeric, a house in Poole in which cabins from the Mauretania are lovingly preserved - as well as the design inspiration behind the first great liners.

SUN 22:00 The Secret Life of Books (b04gkqk7)
Series 1

Great Expectations

Tony Jordan, chief scriptwriter on EastEnders for 15 years and creator of Life on Mars and Hustle, brings his writer's insight to a popular classic - Charles Dickens's Great Expectations.

Dickens serialised his novels and, says Jordan, his brilliant characterisation and cliffhangers make him a godfather to contemporary television writers: 'He's a populist, through and through. He wrote for a mass audience - and they adored him for it'.

Jordan investigates why Dickens decided to change the ending of Great Expectations and what this decision reveals about the writer and the man.

By examining original texts and manuscripts to piece together Dickens's troubled life at the time, Jordan discovers how the author's own personal story may have influenced whether his hero Pip would have a future with Estella.

Produced in partnership with the Open University.

SUN 22:30 6 Music Festival (m001kjj0)

Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner introduces his 6 Music Festival performance at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Acclaimed rapper Loyle Carner released his debut album, Yesterday's Gone, in 2017. This was also the year he first performed at the 6 Music Festival in Glasgow. He now returns as a headliner with a very special set, showcasing his music in a new way, and performs in collaboration with the AMC Gospel Choir. Viewers can also watch Loyle break down tracks from his latest album, hugo, in Artist in Residence: AAA, on BBC iPlayer.

SUN 23:00 6 Music Festival (m001kjj2)

Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens introduces his 6 Music Festival performance at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Christine and the Queens is a renowned French singer-songwriter, known for his poignant electronic pop music and his ability to juggle English and French in his lyrics. In the nine years following his debut, Chaleur Humaine, he has consistently pushed boundaries. Chris's headline set at this year’s 6 Music Festival is the global premiere of his brand new live show.

SUN 23:30 6 Music Festival (m001kjj4)

Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks introduces her 6 Music Festival performance at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Arlo Parks was first played on the radio at the age of just 16, when she uploaded her very first demos to BBC Music Introducing. At the early stages, her music was already garnering a lot of excitement, but she was catapulted into the spotlight with the release of her debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams, which won the Mercury Prize in 2021. In January 2023, she announced that her second album will be released in May and her headline performance at 6 Music Festival will be the world premiere of her new music, featuring special guests.

SUN 00:00 Clive James (m000gx15)
Postcard from Shanghai

Clive James sets off to visit the city once known as the 'Paris of the east' and discovers a China on the brink of revolution. This is his personal view of a crucial moment in Shanghai's history.

SUN 00:50 Sold! Inside the World's Biggest Auction House (b084kqsg)
Episode 2

In part two of the series following a year in the life of the world's largest auction house Christie's, global president Jussi Pilkannien and his team chart the highs and lows of auctions in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is a story full of drama as we find out if Brexit spooked the art market and if Christie's' big push into Asia is paying off.

With rare access to some of the richest collectors in the world, we find out how and why they buy at Christie's and where they put some of the world's most expensive artworks. We meet the auction experts who find treasure in unexpected places - an umbrella stand that turns out to be worth millions and an exceptional Rubens which has not been seen in public for 150 years. But in a year of turmoil, will such works sell well? What are Christie's doing to make sure the 250th anniversary sale, on which they have staked their reputation, is a success? And what is happening in China that makes Jussi so convinced that it is the future?

SUN 01:50 The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak (m000gg29)
Series 1

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Painted soon after he cut off his ear with a razor, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear is one of his most celebrated works. But how much do we really know about it?

In a far-ranging investigation, Waldemar Januszczak delves into the clues hidden in the painting. The result is a tale of geishas, brothels, bullfights, love affairs, suffering and a fiery relationship with Gauguin. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear has a powerful secret message, if you know what to look for.

SUN 02:20 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000ngdw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl77)
Series 11

Witham to Felixstowe

Michael Portillo's railway journey through 1930s Britain from Canterbury to Skegness reaches Witham in Essex. Here he visits the factory of the world's oldest supplier of metal framed windows which became popular in the 30s.

Crossing into Suffolk, Michael alights at Ipswich and discovers the story of a group of child refugees whose history is intertwined with that of Michael's family.

In the village of Newbourne, over a pint with the locals, Michael hears the story of the rural resettlement scheme that helped over a thousand unemployed industrial workers from the north.

Last stop on this leg is Felixstowe, where Michael boards a boat to reach an isolated country house, where secret research was underway in the 1930s. When war came, the experiments performed here saved Britain from defeat.

MON 19:30 Inside Museums (m0016487)
Series 2

Glasgow’s Treasure Palace

Artist Lachlan Goudie visits Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to explore a collection that he has loved since he was a boy.

Kelvingrove is Glasgow’s most important and popular cultural institution, a treasure palace that is home to a vast array of art and artefacts from across the world and across time. It has been a hugely influential part of Lachlan’s life, the single most important collection in shaping his ambition to become a painter.

Since the age of 12, Lachlan has taken his pencils and brushes to Kelvingrove to enter the Glasgow Museums Annual Art Competition. Among his prizewinning entries was a drawing of one of the stars of Kelvingrove’s collection, Sir Roger the Elephant, a taxidermy giant who has stood in the museum since its opening in 1902. Lachlan begins his tour of the museum with a visit to his old friend before moving on to other objects in the collection that fired his childhood imagination.

Rembrandt’s Man in Armour was the first painting Lachlan felt inexorably drawn towards as a boy, and one he has spent a lifetime trying to emulate. From his unique perspective as a practising artist, Lachlan’s exploration of the collection includes other masterpieces, including Salvador Dali’s controversial Christ of St John of the Cross, Van Gogh’s celebrated portrait of Alexander Reid and John Duncan Fergusson’s groundbreaking experiments in fauvist colour.

Lachlan examines the artistic processes underpinning these extraordinary paintings as well as exploring the astonishing and heartbreaking works by the lesser-known artist Marianne Grant, created at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Grant’s drawings force us to confront one of the most shocking moments in world history and sit alongside other objects in the museum that have renewed resonance in the context of today’s global events.

Revisiting an institution he has treasured all his life, in this film Lachlan will re-see objects with fresh eyes, revealing the power of Kelvingrove’s extraordinary collection to enlighten our history and to change the way we look at the world.

MON 20:00 Digging for Britain (m00135jy)
Series 9

Episode 1

This episode sees Alice Roberts tour the East of England, seeking out the most outstanding archaeological digs of the year.

Starting in style, she witnesses the uncovering of 'the most important Roman mosaic to be found in the UK in over 100 years' on seemingly featureless farmland in Rutland. She meets farmer's son Jim, who discovered that the field he had known his whole life actually had a large Roman villa complex lying just beneath his feet. During 2020’s long lockdown, Jim and his family entertained themselves by excavating an area that turned out to be exactly where a huge mosaic lay, just two feet under their field of wheat.

Meanwhile, in the Lincolnshire fens, the site of a saintly hermit's hovel has been discovered. Archaeologists are digging where they believe a man called Guthlac set up home in the late seventh century, having renounced his riches to impress God with his sparse existence. Dr Onyeka Nubia follows up the dig with a visit to Cambridge University to examine an extravagant and very rare 1200-year-old book which details Guthlac’s life in order to understand why he became one of Britain's earliest saints.

The Anglo-Saxons are centre stage again as the grave finds uncovered at a dig in a small town in Kent astonish even the most seasoned archaeologists. Some of the finest are brought to the new Digging for Britain tent for Alice to learn about the process of conservation and micro excavation from leading conservator Dana Goodburn Brown.

Finally, Stuart Prior tries ale made to a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon recipe uncovered during a dig at a huge malting site in north Norfolk. New evidence suggests that Anglo-Saxons living in the east were growing cereal crops in ratios that linked them strongly with their cultural homelands in mainland Europe.

MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07xt8ww)
Series 1


Haddo House is one of Britain's most northerly stately homes. Tucked away in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, it has been home to prime ministers and earls - but is it also home to some of Scotland's greatest lost paintings?

Nearby, in the storerooms of the Montrose Museum lies a mystery painting with a giant hole in it. The portrait shows Richard Mead, the patron of one of Scotland's most celebrated painters, Allan Ramsay. According to the history books, the painting is a copy of a painting in the National Portrait Gallery in London. But has there been an unfortunate mix-up, and is the painting in London in fact the pretender?

MON 22:00 The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty (m000l9yp)
Series 1

The Comeback

This episode follows the story of Rupert Murdoch’s remarkable journey from ‘the most humble day’ of his life to arguably his most powerful moment and the final conclusion to the question of succession within his own family.

Following a huge scandal, Rupert cuts a lonely figure. His political allies have deserted him, his reputation is in tatters, his beloved mother passes away, and to add insult to injury, revelations come to light about his wife’s infatuation with one of his friends, ex-prime minister Tony Blair, contributing to the break-up of his second marriage.

But Murdoch is tough - he feeds on conflict and revels in playing the underdog, a role he has cast himself in throughout his career. This film examines the source of his drive, determination and grit and the important influence of his father.

When two political hopefuls approach Rupert for help, he senses opportunity, and Murdoch’s star begins to rise again. Murdoch’s involvement in the US elections and the Brexit vote sees political relevance return. Murdoch marries his third wife, Jerry Hall, putting himself firmly back at the centre of the power elite, and his amazing comeback nears completion.

Murdoch’s empire is rocked by further scandals, but this time his sons intervene and the family pulls together. Then Murdoch surprises everyone with one final mega business deal worth 71 billion dollars and finally settles the burning question of which of his children will run the family business when he is gone.

MON 23:00 Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History (b0888mjv)
The Big Bang

Dr Sam Willis charts the impact of gunpowder on the battlefield, from cannons to the first handheld weapons.

His journey starts in the 13th century with Oxford scientist and monk Roger Bacon, believed to be the first Englishman to write down a recipe for gunpowder. Sam sees one of the largest surviving medieval cannons still in existence - Mons Meg in Edinburgh Castle. He examines a primitive 1400s 'handgonne' in the Tower of London Armouries that seems more like a mini cannon, with no trigger.

Sam tells the story of the Earl of Moray James Stewart who was regent of Scotland having ejected Mary Queen of Scots from the throne in 1570.

Sam next tells the story of the gunpowder plot. He includes lesser-known details of the 1605 attempted attack. For example, Guy Fawkes was discovered not just once but twice. Also the amount of gunpowder is thought to have been far more than was required. Another strange side to gunpowder's story is revealed - the saltpetre men. Gunpowder requires three ingredients - charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre. In the 17th century chemistry was primitive. Saltpetre or potassium nitrate forms from animal urine and the saltpetre men would collect soil where animals had urinated. This meant they dug up dovecots, stables and even people's homes. They had sweeping powers to come onto people's property and take their soil. They abused these heavily and one of the grievances against King Charles I was the heavy handedness of the saltpetre men.

Eventually, the conflict with the king would turn into the English Civil War. A key weapon is this war was the musket. It was so basic blacksmiths could churn it out by the dozen. Sam fires one with the help of expert gunsmith Robert Tilney. He shows both the musket's power and the lack of accuracy. Muskets were inaccurate but the tactic used was to wait until opponents were very close and then fire one huge volley. Sam shows that the musket would then be used as a heavy club.

Gunpowder weapons gave different injuries to swords and arrows. This led to changes in battlefield surgery, and one who was a key influence was surgeon Richard Wiseman. Sam shows that Wiseman had learnt that any cloth or fragment left from a bullet wound could cause infection and kill the patient.

Finally, Sam travels to Saint Malo in France to tell the story of a frightening attack by the British. In 1693, France and Britain were at war and French pirates had been attacking English ships. Captain John Benbow was asked to launch an attack using a ship crammed with gunpowder. Benbow put 20,000 pounds of gunpowder into the ship as well as many other inflammable ingredients - pitch, straw, sulphur, mortars and grenades. He planned to put this 'Infernal', as it was known, right next to the harbour walls of Saint Malo. But as the ship came near it struck a rock and held fast, within a pistol shot of the town. Then the ship exploded. The sound was heard 100 miles away yet a witness claimed 'no life was lost except a cat in a gutter.' The explosion was 'terrible beyond description' and it shows how far the English were prepared to go in the name of national security.

MON 00:00 A Pembrokeshire Farm (b007hzf0)
Episode 1

Griff Rhys Jones begins a personal restoration project at his 200-year-old farmhouse in Pembrokeshire.

MON 00:30 Digging for Britain (m00135jy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:30 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl77)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:00 Inside Museums (m0016487)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07xt8ww)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl8j)
Series 11

Saxmundham to Norwich

Michael Portillo continues his railway journey through eastern England from Canterbury to Skegness steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guidebook.

Stopping at Saxmundham in Suffolk, Michael heads for Snape Maltings, a concert and arts venue, and learns how the music and life of one of Britain’s greatest composers was shaped by the sea and his Suffolk surroundings.

Striking north, Michael’s next stop is the Norfolk seaside resort of Great Yarmouth, where he visits a recently restored 1930s water garden which evokes the city of the Rialto and the gondolier.

Heading inland, Michael arrives in the historic city of Norwich, which in the 1930s was the shoe making capital of Britain. He hears how a particular style of ladies shoe put Norwich on the front foot and he puts his heart and soul into slipper making at one of city’s oldest cordwainers.

Michael completes his tour of Norwich with a visit to the magnificent Scandinavian inspired art-deco City Hall, unveiled at the time of his guidebook.

TUE 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000q9v8)
Series 2

Ellesmere Port to Audlem

Life on board a narrowboat with Robbie Cumming. Robbie battles his way through blanket weed on the Shropshire Union Canal and discovers industrial secrets in Audlem, Cheshire.

TUE 20:00 As Time Goes By (p0479r3m)
Series 2

White Hunter

Lionel’s autobiography is finished. His publisher wants a picture of him on the cover, but Lionel is convinced this will stave off potential buyers.

TUE 20:30 The Mistress (m001kjk2)
Series 2

Episode 6

Luke's wife finds out about Maxine, but takes the whole thing in her stride.

TUE 21:00 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0078tr5)
Series 3

Forces of Nature

The French Revolution sent shockwaves through Britain. While some watched transfixed, others were horrified.

Simon Schama explores why the British proved immune to the siren call of liberty, equality and fraternity.

TUE 22:00 Horizon (b06b9tnx)

Cosmic Dawn: The Real Moment of Creation

Forget the big bang. The real moment of creation was the cosmic dawn - the moment of first light. This is the scientific version of the story of Genesis.

The big bang gets all the credit for creating our universe. But in fact, the universe it gave was dark and boring. There were no stars, no galaxies, just a vast, black fog of gas - the cosmic dark ages.

But, after a hundred million years of nothing, came a dramatic moment of transformation - the cosmic dawn. It's the moment the first stars were born, the moment that lit up the universe, and made the first structure and the first ingredients of life. This was the real moment of creation.

Astronomers are now trying to witness the cosmic dawn. For the first time they have the tools to explore the very first stars of the universe and to tell the scientific story of our creation.

TUE 23:00 Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (m0010b33)
Series 1


Visiting Bikini Atoll, Panama, Norway, Mozambique and China, we discover the extent of nature’s resilience and how ecosystems devastated by human impact can be revived, how human prosperity is dependent on the natural world and how when working within nature’s limits, resources can be maintained for future generations.

TUE 23:55 A Pembrokeshire Farm (b007hzfj)
Episode 2

Documentary series following Griff Rhys Jones as he restores his 200-year-old farmhouse in Pembrokeshire. As Griff's restoration drama continues, nature decides to intervene.

TUE 00:25 How to Make (m000h3cs)
Series 1

The Toothbrush

Designer, maker and materials engineer Zoe Laughlin explores an item so ubiquitous that most of us don’t give it a moment’s thought - the toothbrush. With 200 milion thrown away each year in the UK, she’s on a mission to find a more sustainable solution.

In search of inspiration, she heads to Sweden’s impressive low-impact mega-factory Tepe, where handles made from sugar-cane-based plastic are ahead of the pack. She explores bespoke production techniques, employing 3D-laser sintering, and dips into the archives of the British Dental Association, revealing the light-bulb moment when the modern brush was hit upon in a prison cell.

Turning to toothpaste itself, pioneering scientists are using bio-active glass to get more fluoride to our teeth. Unconventional options used at Lush Cosmetic’s Willy Wonker-style lab get Zoe's taste buds tingling, before she reveals her final toothbrush and alternative 'paste'. Both are uniquely Zoe - and just a bit bonkers - but they could also provide a very real eco-friendly answer to our daily brushing needs.

TUE 01:25 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl8j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 01:55 Canal Boat Diaries (m000q9v8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:25 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0078tr5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dlbm)
Series 11

Attleborough to Skegness

Michael Portillo is in East Anglia on the last leg of his rail journey through 1930s Britain. He begins in Attleborough in Norfolk, at the headquarters of an international horse welfare organisation which was established in the late 1920s and learns about the charity’s pioneering founder.

Crossing the Fens, Michael’s next stop is the cathedral city of Peterborough, where he visits a tidal defence barrier built in the 1930s, which helped save the city from flooding.

Heading north into Lincolnshire, Michael crosses the point at which The Mallard broke the speed record for a steam powered locomotive in 1938. At the coastal resort of Skegness, he visits the first all-inclusive, self-contained holiday camp which became a household name in Britain. Here Michael swaps his green blazer for a red one!

Michael’s journey culminates at RAF Coningsby – an aerodrome which was conceived as storm clouds gathered across the Channel. Michael explores iconic aircraft from the Second World War, before being treated to a dazzling display featuring the RAF’s latest combat aircraft.

WED 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000q9z0)
Series 2

Market Drayton to Stourport-on-Severn

Life on England’s waterways with Robbie Cumming. Robbie gets stuck in the mud in Woodseaves Cutting and explores the charming canal-side village of Kinver in Staffordshire.

WED 20:00 Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins (m000t8tn)
Series 1

Social Networkers

Chris Packham looks at social intelligence in the animal kingdom and finds out why it is that, for animals, being together means being clever. He looks at how lions hunt in teams and each hold a very specific position, how vampire bats build trust and donor networks through grooming, and how wild wolves first became domesticated and transformed into man's best friend.

WED 21:00 A Timewatch Guide (b06zdll0)
Series 2

Queen Elizabeth I

Vanessa Collingridge examines the life of Elizabeth Tudor, with particular interest in how documentary television and the BBC has examined her legacy and interrogated her reign. Using Timewatch and other BBC archive stretching back over 60 years, Vanessa looks at her upbringing, her conflicts with her enemies including Mary, Queen of Scots, and her greatest victory against the Spanish Armada. The programme seeks to understand how Elizabeth I created a legacy that we still live with today, and examines how that legacy has changed over the centuries.

WED 22:00 Glenda Jackson Remembers... Elizabeth R (m001kjzl)
Double Oscar winner Glenda Jackson remembers the role that brought her back to television after the huge success she had found on the big screen – Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC’s acclaimed six-part 1971 series Elizabeth R.

Here, Glenda recalls how she came to have huge admiration for the real-life Elizabeth, discovering so much more about her life and loves as she prepared to take on the role. She also describes the challenges faced when making an epic drama, and the struggles with costumes, make-up and wigs that eventually saw her having her own head shaved for the sake of ease and accuracy.

WED 22:10 Elizabeth R (p036g8bq)
The Lion's Cub

A young Elizabeth lives in dangerous times, leading the Protestant rebellion against her Catholic half-sister Mary and challenging her claim to the throne.

WED 23:40 Elizabeth R (p036g8bw)
The Marriage Game

Classic historical drama series. The unmarried young queen is encouraged to find a suitable husband so that she can produce an heir, but she finds that very few suitors interest her.

WED 01:10 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dlbm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 01:40 Canal Boat Diaries (m000q9z0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 02:10 The Secret Life of Books (b04gkqk7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]

WED 02:40 Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins (m000t8tn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtcq)
Series 1

Kowloon to Wan Chai

Michael Portillo is in south east Asia, armed with his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook. It leads him on a spectacular 2,500-mile railway adventure across six countries. Michael explores towering megacities and magnificent mosques, visits jewelled temples and golden Buddhas and rides some of the world’s most exhilarating and notorious railways.

Beginning in Hong Kong, Michael investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two shocking drug wars. He boards the island’s most famous funicular to The Peak and straddles a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle making!

THU 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f96)
Series 3

Dowley Gap to Ferrybridge

Jump on board with narrowboater Robbie Cumming as he explores the Victorian village of Saltaire in West Yorkshire on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, moors up in Leeds Dock, and goes in search of an abandoned waterway on the Aire and Calder Navigation.

THU 20:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
Military Marvels

In the heady postwar years of the 1950s and 60s, British flying was at its zenith and its aircraft industry flourished in a dazzling display of ingenuity and design brilliance. Having invented the jet engine, Britain was now set to lead the world into the jet age with a new generation of fighters and bombers. The daring test pilots who flew them were as well known as the football stars of today, while their futuristic-looking aircraft, including the Meteor, Canberra, Valiant, Vulcan and the English Electric Lightning, were the military marvels of the age.

THU 21:00 Jesus Christ Superstar (m001kk2j)
A novel take on the last seven days of Jesus Christ's life, based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous rock opera.

A group of young people arrive in the Holy Land by bus to act out events leading to the Crucifixion in a blend of biblical and contemporary themes. To Judas Iscariot, Christ is a badly managed superstar, bound to lose the support of a fickle public. To the priests, he is a menace, and to Mary Magdalene, he brings a love she has never known before.

Photographed against dramatic scenery in Israel, the film is performed without dialogue and includes the hit songs I Don't Know How to Love Him, Superstar and King Herod's Song.

THU 22:40 Marti Webb: Tell Me on a Sunday (m001kk2q)
Filmed concert performance of the one-woman musical show written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black that stars Marti Webb as an English girl who travels to America in search of love.

THU 23:25 A Timewatch Guide (b06zdll0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday]

THU 00:25 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtcq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 00:55 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015f96)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:25 Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (m0010b33)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Tuesday]

THU 02:20 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m81f5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001kkld)
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 9 June 1994 and featuring Manic Street Preachers, Blur, Absolutely Fabulous, Kym Mazelle and Jocelyn Brown, The Brand New Heavies, Guns N' Roses, Maxx, Dawn Penn and Wet Wet Wet.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001kkll)
Angus Deayton presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 16 June 1994 and featuring Robert Palmer, The Grid, 2 Unlimited, Mariah Carey, D:Ream, Toni Braxton, Spin Doctors, Chaka Demus & Pliers and Wet Wet Wet.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b08yfkxv)
Mike Read and Andy Peebles present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 29 March 1984 and featuring The Special AKA, Captain Sensible, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Madonna, Thompson Twins and Lionel Richie.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000xh7c)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 28 March 1991 and featuring Dannii Minogue, James and Chesney Hawkes.

FRI 21:00 Elkie Brooks in Concert (m001kklt)
Singer Elkie Brooks in concert at the Hippodrome, Golders Green, first broadcast simultaneously with Radio 1 in 1977. With a special introduction by Annie Nightingale.

FRI 22:00 Joan Armatrading at Asylum Chapel (m001d2cs)
One of the world's greatest singer-songwriters, Joan Armatrading, does what she does best, accompanied by a full live band.

Filmed at Asylum Chapel, London, in 2021, the show contains a plethora of new songs and classic tracks from across Joan's successful career - including Better Life, Consequences, Love and Affection, Drop the Pilot, Down to Zero and Me, Myself, I.

FRI 23:55 Queens of Song at the BBC (m000ypjv)
A collection of the some of the finest female voices and performances ever broadcast, showcasing those special superstars who, thanks to a combination of tonsils, talent and temperament, are so much more than just singers.

Featuring the likes of Whitney, Beyonce, Mariah, Grace, Cher, Aretha, Tina, Diana and Adele: it’s a list of leading ladies all music fans are on first name terms with - and all crazy in love with too.

FRI 00:55 Singer-Songwriters at the BBC (b00v4kdy)
Series 1

Episode 2

Compilation which unlocks the BBC vaults to explore the burgeoning singer-songwriter genre that exploded at the dawn of the 1970s and became one of the defining styles of that decade.

Featuring Peter Sarstedt, Carole King, Jim Croce, Bridget St John, Cat Stevens, Judy Collins, Randy Newman, John Sebastian, Joan Armatrading, Ralph McTell, Al Stewart, Kevin Coyne, Billy Joel, Tim Hardin and Paul Simon.

Programme sources include the Old Grey Whistle Test, In Concert, Top of the Pops, Sounds for Saturday, the Bobbie Gentry Show and One in Ten.

FRI 01:55 Top of the Pops (m001kkld)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 02:25 Top of the Pops (m001kkll)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 02:55 Top of the Pops (b08yfkxv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 03:25 Top of the Pops (m000xh7c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

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

6 Music Festival 22:30 SUN (m001kjj0)

6 Music Festival 23:00 SUN (m001kjj2)

6 Music Festival 23:30 SUN (m001kjj4)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 21:00 TUE (b0078tr5)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 02:25 TUE (b0078tr5)

A Pembrokeshire Farm 00:00 MON (b007hzf0)

A Pembrokeshire Farm 23:55 TUE (b007hzfj)

A Timewatch Guide 21:00 WED (b06zdll0)

A Timewatch Guide 23:25 THU (b06zdll0)

As Time Goes By 23:30 SAT (p045tmrl)

As Time Goes By 20:00 TUE (p0479r3m)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 21:00 MON (b07xt8ww)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 02:30 MON (b07xt8ww)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 TUE (m000q9v8)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:55 TUE (m000q9v8)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 WED (m000q9z0)

Canal Boat Diaries 01:40 WED (m000q9z0)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 THU (m0015f96)

Canal Boat Diaries 00:55 THU (m0015f96)

Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins 20:00 WED (m000t8tn)

Chris Packham's Animal Einsteins 02:40 WED (m000t8tn)

Clive James 00:00 SUN (m000gx15)

Digging for Britain 20:00 MON (m00135jy)

Digging for Britain 00:30 MON (m00135jy)

Elizabeth R 22:10 WED (p036g8bq)

Elizabeth R 23:40 WED (p036g8bw)

Elkie Brooks in Concert 21:00 FRI (m001kklt)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 19:00 SUN (b00791vw)

Glenda Jackson Remembers... Elizabeth R 22:00 WED (m001kjzl)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m000dtcq)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 00:25 THU (m000dtcq)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m000dl77)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:30 MON (m000dl77)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000dl8j)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:25 TUE (m000dl8j)

Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000dlbm)

Great British Railway Journeys 01:10 WED (m000dlbm)

Horizon 22:00 TUE (b06b9tnx)

How to Make 00:25 TUE (m000h3cs)

Inside Museums 19:30 MON (m0016487)

Inside Museums 02:00 MON (m0016487)

Jesus Christ Superstar 21:00 THU (m001kk2j)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 20:00 THU (b01m81f5)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 02:20 THU (b01m81f5)

Joan Armatrading at Asylum Chapel 22:00 FRI (m001d2cs)

Luzzu 21:00 SAT (m001kjgx)

Marti Webb: Tell Me on a Sunday 22:40 THU (m001kk2q)

Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure 19:10 SAT (p00xb6z3)

Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure 02:55 SAT (p00xb6z3)

Michael Palin: The Art of Travel 19:00 SAT (m001kjgv)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 20:00 SAT (m000ngdw)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 02:20 SUN (m000ngdw)

Nighty Night 22:30 SAT (b0074cd6)

Nighty Night 23:00 SAT (b0074cdh)

Paris Police 1900 00:00 SAT (p09tqk78)

Paris Police 1900 02:00 SAT (p09tqkhr)

Queens of Song at the BBC 23:55 FRI (m000ypjv)

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature 23:00 TUE (m0010b33)

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature 01:25 THU (m0010b33)

Singer-Songwriters at the BBC 00:55 FRI (b00v4kdy)

Sold! Inside the World's Biggest Auction House 00:50 SUN (b084kqsg)

Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History 23:00 MON (b0888mjv)

The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak 01:50 SUN (m000gg29)

The Classical Collection 20:00 SUN (m001gc7k)

The Mistress 20:30 TUE (m001kjk2)

The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty 22:00 MON (m000l9yp)

The Secret Life of Books 22:00 SUN (b04gkqk7)

The Secret Life of Books 02:10 WED (b04gkqk7)

Timeshift 21:00 SUN (b00nf0nl)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001kkld)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001kkll)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (b08yfkxv)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000xh7c)

Top of the Pops 01:55 FRI (m001kkld)

Top of the Pops 02:25 FRI (m001kkll)

Top of the Pops 02:55 FRI (b08yfkxv)

Top of the Pops 03:25 FRI (m000xh7c)