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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SAT 19:00 Michael Palin: The Art of Travel (m001kr81)
Series 1

Southern Railway

Michael Palin embarks on an imaginary romantic assignation to Paris aboard the Golden Arrow. Promoting its new-fangled electrification through a series of colourful posters, the Southern Railway provides him with a gateway to sunshine.

SAT 19:10 Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (p00xb71l)
Episode 3

Michael Palin continues to trace Hemingway's journey. He arrives in Key West in time for Hemingway's 100th birthday celebrations, where he is given boxing lessons from 83-year-old Shine Forbes, who sparred with Hemingway.

In Uganda, Michael has his hair cut en route up the Nile. At Butiaba, Uganda he visits the site of a plane crash Hemingway was involved in. Finally, Michael reaches Venice in time for the carnival and then tries his hand at duck-hunting in nearby Caorle.

SAT 20:00 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000npbl)
Series 1

Episode 3

In his third series, Michael Palin took on his most ambitious journey yet – a 50,000-mile route around the Pacific Rim, taking in Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand and North and South America. This huge undertaking stretches him and the crew to their limits, and it sees Michael adopt a more investigative role as he seeks to get under the skin of the places he visits – from a booming South Korea to Colombia with its drug wars and poverty.

The journey starts in Alaska, then takes Michael to far eastern Russia, an area that has only recently become accessible in post-Soviet times. He visits the site of a gulag with a survivor of the camps and reflects on the evils of the system that devised such a place. Keen to see how Asia is booming, he moves on to China and is struck by the huge changes going on – buildings going up everywhere and the economy starting to boom in ways that seem to echo the Industrial Revolution in Britain. In South Korea, he sees more economic progress and finds out how the country has developed away from the oppressive influence of Japan. He then enters North Korea – but only for a moment. In Vietnam, Michael encounters more rapid social and economic development and also considers the legacy of the Vietnam War as he visits a relic of the conflict.

After his journey is delayed by his need to fly home to see his wife, who has become ill, there are doubts about whether Michael will continue. But he does, taking on South America and experiencing a magical trip through the Pongo de Mainique gorge in Peru – one of his favourites of all his destinations. In Bogota, Michael is faced with a bleaker side of the continent, seeing the effects of drugs, poverty and crime in the company of a British journalist. And he sees more desperation at the Mexican-American border, before returning to Alaska, where he only just fails to complete the circle due to bad weather.

SAT 21:00 So Long My Son (m001kr83)
Wang Xiaoshuai’s deeply moving and intimate drama traces the lives of two interconnected families over three decades of social and political upheaval in China from the 1980s to the present.

SAT 23:55 Nighty Night (b0074cdv)
Series 1

Episode 3

Comedy series about the owner of a suburban beauty salon who sees her husband’s terminal illness as a fresh start for herself. Jill convinces Cath to try to heal her marriage with the Caro Bibbens Celebrating Celibacy programme. Don becomes increasingly frustrated and is eventually thrown out of the house by Cath after she finds a pair of lacy split pants in his pocket.

SAT 00:25 Nighty Night (b0074cfk)
Series 1

Episode 4

Comedy series about the owner of a suburban beauty salon who sees her husband’s terminal illness as a fresh start for herself. Jill moves in with Cath and Don, but things come to a head when Cath returns home to find her showing Don her crab.

SAT 00:55 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.

SAT 01:20 Paris Police 1900 (p09tql7d)
Series 1

Episode 5

Meg has fallen for army intelligence officer Gabriel Sabran, the same man Jouin is pursuing in his investigation into Josephine Berger's murder.

Puybaraud receives a direct order from the Minister of the Interior to raid the union of anti-Semitic leagues, as tension rises before the Dreyfus trial in Rennes.

In French with English subtitles.

SAT 02:15 Paris Police 1900 (p09tqlr9)
Series 1

Episode 6

When Meg Steinheil is abducted, her husband asks Fiersi for help. Lepine and Cochefert are made fully aware of Puybaraud's double-dealing when the leaders of the anti-Semite leagues are forewarned of Paris-wide police raids on their organisations. Jouin is put in danger when attempting to interview Josephine Berger's mother, who has come to Paris to collect her grandchild.

In French with English subtitles.

SAT 03:05 Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (p00xb71l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today]


SUN 19:00 Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe (b00791y3)
A British Love Affair

Francesco da Mosto enters Tuscany and Umbria to look at the long love affair that Britain has had with the area. He learns how to be the perfect courtier in Urbino, goes grape harvesting in Chianti, discovers the romantic inspiration at the heart of Puccini's operas, travels to Assisi to find out why he was named after St Francis and takes Dame Maggie Smith on a sightseeing tour of Florence.

SUN 20:00 The Read (m001kr7c)
Series 1

A Vision of Loveliness

Bafta-nominated actor Liv Hill (Three Girls, Jellyfish, The Great, The Serpent Queen) performs A Vision of Loveliness from the novel by Louise Levene, a darkly comic work that reveals the seedy underbelly of London in the 1960s, rich with period detail. We follow a young woman's rise through the social ranks of her peculiar world. A Vision of Loveliness is a novel grounded in the grubby glamour of the 1960s, but it speaks sharply to the societal, financial and aesthetic pressures of being a woman today.

SUN 21:00 Julius Caesar Revealed (b09s0mxj)
Julius Caesar is the most famous Roman of them all: brutal conqueror, dictator and victim of a gruesome assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC. 2,000 years on, he still shapes the world. He has given us some political slogans we still use today (Crossing the Rubicon), his name lives on in the month of July, and there is nothing new about Vladmir Putin's carefully cultivated military image, and no real novelty in Donald Trump's tweets and slogans.

Mary Beard is on a mission to uncover the real Caesar, and to challenge public perception. She seeks the answers to some big questions. How did he become a one-man ruler of Rome? How did he use spin and PR on his way to the top? Why was he killed? And she asks some equally intriguing little questions. How did he conceal his bald patch? Did he really die, as William Shakespeare put it, with the words Et tu, Brute on his lips? Above all, Mary explores his surprising legacy right up to the present day. Like it or not, Caesar is still present in our everyday lives, our language, and our politics. Many dictators since, not to mention some other less autocratic leaders, have learned the tricks of their trade from Julius Caesar.

SUN 22:00 Armando's Tale of Charles Dickens (b0195pt7)
Armando Iannucci presents a personal argument in praise of the genius of Charles Dickens. Through the prism of the author's most autobiographical novel, David Copperfield, Armando looks beyond Dickens - the national institution - and instead explores the qualities of Dickens's work that still make him one of the best British writers.

While Dickens is often celebrated for his powerful depictions of Victorian England and his role as a social reformer, this programme foregrounds the elements of his writing which make him worth reading, as much for what he tells us about ourselves in the twenty-first century as our ancestors in the nineteenth.

Armando argues that Dickens's remarkable use of language and his extraordinary gift for creating characters make him a startlingly experimental and psychologically penetrating writer who demands not just to be adapted for television but to be read and read again.

SUN 23:00 When Mary Beard Met... (m000dlbz)
Armando Iannucci

Mary Beard in conversation with influential writer and director Armando Iannucci, as his big screen adaptation of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield is released in cinemas and his new space tourism comedy series Avenue 5 launches on HBO.

The pair discuss taking liberties with a literary classic, whether it’s possible to satirise the current political situation, and the impact of swearing.

SUN 23:40 The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak (m000gp0h)
Series 1

Seurat's Les Poseuses

Hanging in the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Seurat’s Les Poseuses is probably his least-known painting. It is also a picture brimming with codes and hidden meanings. It shows three nudes in the artist’s studio, but included in the background is Seurat’s famous masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

Why is it there? What is it trying to say? Why two pictures at once? Waldemar Januszczak investigates.

SUN 00:10 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.

SUN 01:10 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.

SUN 02:10 Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime (m000npbl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Saturday]


MON 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtbl)
Series 1

Hong Kong University to Lantau Island

Michael Portillo continues his exploration of Hong Kong aboard the impressive MTR metro system, which handles six million trips a day.

In Wan Chai, he discovers why Hong Kongers are protesting all over the city and asks them about their hopes and fears. At Hong Kong University, Michael learns about the father of modern China, Sun Yat Sen, who was a student there at the time of his Bradshaw’s Guide. In the walled villages of the New Territories, Michael meets a descendant of one of Hong Kong’s oldest dynasties.

MON 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015fbq)
Series 3

Knottingley to Ripon

The real side of boating with Robbie Cumming. On the last leg of his epic journey across the north of England, Robbie tackles the fast-flowing River Ouse and is forced to make an emergency stop. His destination is Ripon Basin at the outer reaches of our inland waterways.

MON 20:00 Digging for Britain (m001363k)
Series 9

Episode 2

The south of England is the location for a rich and colourful selection of outstanding archaeology excavated in this episode.

The HS2 High Speed Rail line from London to Birmingham has kept archaeologists busy for several years, but few sites have been as puzzling as the ruin of a Norman church just outside Stoke Mandeville. Known to date to 1080, the structure and over 300 skeletons had to be completely removed, and in doing so astonishing discoveries were made underneath. Alice Roberts visited the site and speculated that some of the stonework found could possibly be Roman. A few weeks later she was proved spectacularly right! Archaeology was breaking national news as, over just a few days, a haul of three lifesize Roman busts, eight burial urns and an exquisite glass vessel were recovered from the bottom of a ring ditch. Alongside these artefacts was a remarkable skeleton, minus its head but complete with coins, which could reveal almost exactly when all these items were violently tossed into the ditch and covered over. Was it the moment the Romans relinquished control in Britain 1600 years ago?

On Salisbury Plain, a mysterious set of post holes has experts scratching their heads. If these were 3000-year-old Neolithic houses, what shape were these Bronze Age buildings, and what were the walls made of? Stuart Prior visits Butser farm, where experiments are under way to test various theories about how the walls of these important dwellings were made.

Alice visits another outstanding site of Roman archaeology at Silchester, where a bath complex is being excavated. The experience of Mike Fulford means he has been able to pinpoint layers in the building that reflect the rise and fall of Roman power in Britain. Mike brings his best finds to the Tent Studio, where Alice learns what the occupants of Silchester got up to in their bathhouse complex. Among the finds are gaming pieces, bone dice and a stunningly ornate Roman belt buckle.

On the banks of the river Thames in west London, a dig has revealed what is possibly the earliest known settlement ever uncovered in London. The archaeologists have also found what are thought to be some of the oldest coins ever made in Britain, possibly minted right there in Barn Elms in the Iron Age.

Finally, on the seabed of the Solent, near the Isle of Wight, lies the site of what was a Mesolithic settlement. This was dry land 10,000 years ago; now marine archaeologists have taken a sample of the soil for DNA testing. At the lab, expert investigator Cat Jarman follows the process that allows scientists to determine what was being grown and eaten by the Mesolithic people. The appearance of wheat, 2000 years earlier than previously accepted, is a major revelation.

MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07yqgl3)
Series 1


Bendor and Jacky visit the Ulster Museum to investigate what have long been disregarded as low-value copies of works by Flemish artist Peter Breughel the Younger. They also visit the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, in which a controversial painting once slashed with a knife is now kept in a room away from public view. The subject is believed to be William III and the pope - these two characters in one picture would be guaranteed to rouse the passions on both sides of the sectarian divide. But has the painting been a case of mistaken identity? Bendor and Jacky investigate.

MON 22:00 Endgame in Ireland (p0f9cw3h)
Series 1

Bomb and the Ballot Box

In April 1981, Bobby Sands, an IRA prisoner on hunger strike, won a seat at Westminster, inadvertently starting the endgame in Northern Ireland. Galvanised by this success, Sinn Fein's leader, Gerry Adams, was elected to Parliament in 1983, alarming Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald, who eventually persuaded Mrs Thatcher to sanction the Anglo-Irish agreement by giving Dublin a small say in running Northern Ireland.

From 2001.

MON 23:00 Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History (b088sznj)
Rapid Fire

In the concluding episode, Dr Sam Willis charts the evolution of weaponry in Britain from 1800 to the First World War, looking at the drive to develop ever more precise weapons, from artillery shells to rifles to the Maxim machine gun.

The pace of technological change in the 19th century was phenomenal. Sam test-fires a 'Brown Bess' musket, the infantry weapon of choice at Waterloo in 1815 and discovers that a well-trained soldier could fire up to three shots a minute. He also looks at efforts to make artillery more effective on the battlefield with the invention of spherical case shot, a new type of shell that was named after its inventor - Henry Shrapnel.

Sam finds out how accessible firearms were to the public in the early 19th century and tells the little-known story of Spencer Percival, the only British prime minister ever to be assassinated, shot at point blank range in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.

By the turn of the 20th century, several inventors believed that they could banish war if they invented the ultimate weapon, an instrument so horrific that no-one would dare use it. In the 1880s, Hiram Maxim, an American inventor, devised the first 'Maxim' machine guns in his workshop in Hatton Garden, London. The first rapid-fire weapon to harness the energy of its own recoil, the Maxim gun, and its successor the Vickers machine gun, could fire 600 rounds a minute and were used to devastating effect on the battlefields of the First World War.

Automatic weapons were also sought by criminal gangs, as Sam discovers when he looks back at one of the most infamous sieges of the 20th century - the Siege of Sidney Street in 1911.

The series culminates in a remarkable experiment to find out whether a bulletproof vest made of silk might have stopped a bullet fired at Archduke Franz Ferdinand. With the aid of the Royal Armouries, Sam conducts a unique experiment with assistant firearms curator Lisa Traynor to prove that a bulletproof vest owned by the archduke would have stopped a bullet fired by his assassin, Gavrilo Princip. The killing of the archduke on June 28 1914 set in motion a chain of events that led to the outbreak of the First World War.

World War I was the deadliest war of its age, with the most technologically advanced firearms and weapons of almost medieval brutality used to wage a devastating conflict. When the firing finally stopped on November 11, 1918, an estimated 17 million people had died and 20 million had been wounded. In the aftermath of World War I, we now put increasing faith in treaties, international conventions and diplomacy. Surely we could never allow such carnage to happen again?

MON 00:00 A Pembrokeshire Farm (b007hzfy)
Episode 3

As summer arrives, the farmhouse is stripped down to its bare essentials. Meanwhile Griff takes a tour of the local rock scene with geologist Sid Howells.

MON 00:30 Digging for Britain (m001363k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

MON 01:30 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtbl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

MON 02:00 Canal Boat Diaries (m0015fbq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

MON 02:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07yqgl3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


TUE 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtlr)
Series 1

Chiang Mai to Lampang

Steered by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a four-part rail adventure through Thailand from the northern city of Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi on the River Kwai, and from Bangkok to the southern beach resort of Hua Hin.

On this leg, Michael tries his hand at the art of umbrella making and learns about northern Thai cookery. He explores the walled and moated city of Chiang Mai, former capital of the Lanna Kingdom before it was annexed by the King of Siam.

Travelling south to Lampang, Michael discovers the former centre of the teak wood business and investigates how successive Thai kings preserved their independence from the rival colonial powers of Britain and France. He discovers the history of a British governess at the royal court, who was made famous on stage and screen, and discovers how King George V kept elephants at the British Consulate.

TUE 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06829t1)
The Boat People

Presenter Liz McIvor tells the story of the people who operated the canal boats, carrying fuel and goods around the country. Conditions were tough, days were long. Victorian society began to grow suspicious of these 'outsiders' and they gained reputations for criminality, violence and drinking. But was this reputation really deserved? Liz discovers grisly canal crimes, investigates health and welfare onboard working boats, and looks at why canal children were last on the list to be offered safeguards and formal education. The Victorians eventually championed the needs of children who were forced to labour in factories and mines, but the boat children were often ignored. Liz discovers the campaigners who set out to tackle this injustice, including George Smith of Coalville, Leicestershire, and Sister Mary Ward of Stoke Bruerne.

TUE 20:00 As Time Goes By (p0479t07)
Series 2

A Weekend Away

When both Judy and Alistair go away for the weekend, Jean tries everything to avoid spending the weekend alone with Lionel.

TUE 20:30 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (b0077hrr)
Series 1

Stranger on a Train

Five years have passed. Bob has travelled to London to buy a wedding present and Terry has returned from Cyprus after a spell in the army. By chance, they meet on the last train home and the events of the past few years flood out.

TUE 21:00 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074n2r)
Series 3

Victoria and Her Sisters

She began the century that bears her name a princess and ended it as an empress. Queen Victoria ruled one of the most powerful empires in world history during a century of staggering change - for both good and bad. But it was Victorian women who were at the forefront of the fight against its excesses and inequalities, who campaigned for the rights for ordinary people in marriage, education, medicine and the vote.

TUE 22:00 Storyville (m000pjc9)
The Night Notre-Dame Burned

A Storyville documentary that tells the dramatic story of the devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral on 15 April 2019. Blow by blow, it follows the team of brave firefighters - from the men and women on the frontline to the brigade chief - as they face the epic responsibility of saving one of the city's most emblematic and much–loved symbols from burning to the ground.

As well as on-the-ground helmet cam and drone footage of the unfolding, dramatic events, the film-makers – the Naudet Brothers – who famously recorded the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 in New York – were themselves at the scene to record a moment in history in their own capital city.

In one tense moment, after the collapse of the spire, we are inside the situation room where President Macron must decide whether to risk the lives of 40 firefighters by sending them into the burning towers to stop the fire bringing total devastation to the building. This observational footage is intercut with the testimony of the firefighters themselves, whose pride and heroic dignity in fulfilling their roles cannot fail to bring a viewer to tears.

TUE 23:30 Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (m0010jp3)
Series 1


Taking in visits to the USA, China, Scotland and South Africa, this episode explores the connections within and between ecosystems.

Discover how a single species can influence a landscape, from tiny fireflies to iconic wolves, and how planting trees can reverse the impact of deforestation, help native wildlife to thrive and aid in mitigating the effects of climate change. The programme also examines the complexity within every ecosystem and shows how the wrong species in the wrong place can have catastrophic impacts.

TUE 00:20 A Pembrokeshire Farm (b007hzg9)
Episode 4

Building work on Griff's farm moves to the inside of the house. At last, things are being built up instead of knocked down. But as the deadline looms, tempers begin to fray.

TUE 00:50 How to Make (m000hbdk)
Series 1


Zoe Laughlin, designer, maker and materials engineer, is fascinated by the science and technology hidden within the everyday objects we take for granted. In this series she dismantles and dissects three classic items to understand the wonders of form, function and material that go into making them, before building her own truly bespoke versions step by step.

In this episode, Zoe explores an item that is extraordinarily intimate and transports us to other worlds – headphones. With 12 pairs sold globally every second, Zoe is on a mission to build her own unique pair. In search of inspiration, she heads to Hull University to discover an exciting new substance that can turn any surface into a speaker, from a wall to a table and even the bone of your skull. In the depths of an anechoic chamber, she experiences the wonder behind directional sound and ear-tracking technology, which creates a personal sound bubble without the need to wear headphones at all.

A trip back through headphone history reveals the stethoscope-style home contraptions of the 19th century and the game-changing 80s Sony Walkman. Zoe also heads to high-end manufacturers Bowers & Wilkins, climbs into a mock aircraft cabin to explore the principles of noise cancellation, and goes on a trip down one of London’s busiest streets with a billboard-style contraption slung across her body, all in the name of material research. Her final headphones raise the bar high, with a distinctive headband to avoid big hair issues, alongside characterful Plasti Dip connections.

TUE 01:50 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtlr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

TUE 02:20 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06829t1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

TUE 02:50 A History of Britain by Simon Schama (b0074n2r)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today]


WED 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtj4)
Series 1

Ayutthaya to River Kwai

Michael Portillo continues his rail journey through Thailand from Lampang, stopping to help at an elephant hospital, where they care for animals wounded by landmines.

In the former Siamese capital of Ayutthaya, Michael admires gigantic ruined temples and finds out about what was one of the greatest cities in Asia. He makes a trip to an unusual market - a must for any self-respecting train-lover.

Michael finishes this leg of his Thai journey at Kanchanaburi, close to the border with Myanmar, to ride one of the world’s most notorious tracks and, for him, the most poignant - the Death Railway.

WED 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b0685bp2)
The Workers

This is the story of the men who built our canals - the navigators or 'navvies'. They represented an 'army' of hard physical men who were capable of enduring tough labour for long hours. Many roved the countryside looking for work and a better deal. They gained a reputation as troublesome outsiders, fond of drinking and living a life of ungodly debauchery. But who were they? Unreliable heathens and outcasts, or unsung heroes who used might and muscle to build canals and railways? We focus on the Manchester Ship Canal - the swansong for the navvies and hailed as the greatest engineering feat of the Victorian Age. The navvies worked at a time of rising trade unionism. But could they organise and campaign for a better deal?

WED 20:00 Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams (b0bltzbn)
On the other side of the world under the crystal clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean lies one of the most enchanting places on the planet. Over ten thousand miles away on the north eastern coast of Australia lies the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of our world. It provides shelter to some hidden wildlife sanctuaries that contain some magical marine creatures.

Invited on a reef adventure by Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick, conservationist and naturalist Iolo Williams dives deep beneath the surface of the coral sea to discover what state this natural wonder is in. Together they travel from the extreme swells of the northern part of the reef right down to the cooler pristine corals of the south. They discover how healthy the Great Barrier Reef really is in some of its key locations to see and find out if there are real signs of hope the reef can survive the threat of global warming.

WED 21:00 The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank (b036f9vc)
Ludwig II of Bavaria, more commonly known by his nicknames the Swan King or the Dream King, is a legendary figure - the handsome boy-king, loved by his people, betrayed by his cabinet and found dead in tragic and mysterious circumstances. He spent his life in pursuit of the ideal of beauty, an ideal that found expression in three of the most extraordinary, ornate architectural schemes imaginable - the castle of Neuschwanstein and the palaces of Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee. Today, these three buildings are among Germany's biggest tourist attractions.

In this documentary, Dan Cruickshank explores the rich aesthetic of Ludwig II - from the mock-medievalism of Neuschwanstein, the iconic fairytale castle that became the inspiration for the one in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, to the rich Baroque splendour of Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig's answer to Versailles. Dan argues that Ludwig's castles are more than flamboyant kitsch and are, in fact, the key to unravelling the eternal enigma of Ludwig II.

WED 22:00 Elizabeth R (p036g8c1)
Shadow in the Sun

Elizabeth meets an interesting suitor, the Duke of Anjou, much to the Puritans' disapproval. Now Elizabeth must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.

WED 23:30 Elizabeth R (p036g8c5)
Horrible Conspiracies

Elizabeth finds her position increasingly threatened by Mary, Queen of Scots and her loyal supporters. Will Elizabeth have to execute Mary in order to remain queen?

WED 01:00 Julius Caesar Revealed (b09s0mxj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday]

WED 02:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtj4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

WED 02:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b0685bp2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

WED 03:00 Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams (b0bltzbn)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]


THU 19:00 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtq2)
Series 1


Michael Portillo is in the Thai capital, Bangkok, midway through his rail tour of Thailand. He learns how the late 19th-century King Rama V built a grand palace and introduced railways to his country. He discovers the fine terminus commissioned by the king and meets a historian and designer who shares family roots with the present royal dynasty. Michael learns that King Rama V’s love of steam engines was inspired by Queen Victoria.

At the colossal new station under construction in the city, Michael hears how its four levels and 24 platforms will transform Thailand’s transport infrastructure. He circles the Grand Palace by tuk tuk, then boards the 21st-century skytrain for a wonderful view of the city.

Michael dines on the water in a floating market, where purchases are made from boat to boat. Following in the footsteps of writers such as Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and John Le Carre, Michael checks into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, built just before his guide.

THU 19:30 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06822p8)

Liz McIvor explores the heritage of our canal network. After years of decline in the postwar period much of the network was eventually restored. Once places of labour and industry, they became places of leisure and tranquillity. The newly renovated canals were increasingly popular for boating holidaymakers. Liz visits the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales and travels to Birmingham where canals have become catalysts for property development and urban regeneration. Canals offer so many benefits today. Perhaps, Liz suggests, it is time to construct a few more?

THU 20:00 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m9vjl)
The Shape of Things to Come

In the heady years following World War II, Britain was a nation in love with aviation. Having developed the jet engine in wartime, British engineers were now harnessing its power to propel the world's first passenger jets. By 1960 the UK's passenger airline industry was the largest in the world, with routes stretching to the furthest-flung remnants of Empire.

And the aircraft carrying these New Elizabethans around the globe were also British - the Vickers Viscount, the Bristol Britannia and the world's first pure jet-liner, the sleek, silver De Havilland Comet, which could fly twice as high and twice as fast as its American competitors. It seemed the entire nation was reaching for the skies to create the shape of things to come for air travel worldwide. But would their reach exceed their grasp?

THU 21:00 High Society (m000pyh8)
Musical comedy. Time is short if playboy CK Dexter-Haven is to reclaim his former wife before she remarries. Cynical reporter Mike Connor is covering the wedding.

THU 22:45 The Miracle of the Bells (b0077nz2)
The body of a young actress is brought to her home town by the man who loved her. He knows that she wanted all the church bells to ring for three days after she was buried but is told that this will cost a lot of money. The cheques that he writes to the various churches all bounce, but it is the weekend and, in desperation, he prays that a miracle will happen before the banks reopen. It does - but not in the way he hoped.

THU 00:40 Great Asian Railway Journeys (m000dtq2)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

THU 01:10 Canals: The Making of a Nation (b06822p8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

THU 01:40 Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (b01m9vjl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

THU 02:40 Armando's Tale of Charles Dickens (b0195pt7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Sunday]


FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001krc9)
Simon Mayo presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 23 June 1994 and featuring Aswad, Dawn Penn, Ace of Base, All-4-One, Shed Seven, The B-52’s, Cappella, Elton John and Wet Wet Wet.

FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001krcc)
Bruno Brookes presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 30 June 1994 and featuring Juliet Roberts, Let Loose, Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman, The Boomtown Rats, Oasis, Crystal Waters, These Animal Men, The Grid and Wet Wet Wet.

FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (b08fsgyp)
Simon Bates and Peter Powell present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 7 April 1983 and featuring Dexys Midnight Runners, Culture Club, Joboxers, Twisted Sister, Michael Jackson, F. R. David, Nick Heyward, Big Country and David Bowie.

FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (m000pjdq)
Anthea Turner presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 5 April 1990 and featuring Jason Donovan, They Might Be Giants and Happy Mondays.

FRI 21:00 When Bob Marley Came to Britain (m000m7ht)
In the 1970s, Bob Marley rose from humble beginnings to become a global superstar. It was a journey that took place not just in his homeland of Jamaica but also in Britain - the place he came to regard as his second home.

Featuring rarely seen archive and interviews with people who met him, this documentary examines Marley’s special relationship with Britain and reveals how his presence influenced British politics, culture and identity during a time of massive social and civil unrest in the UK - and how his universal message of one love and unity helped inspire a generation of black British youth.

This documentary also takes a revealing look at how Marley spent his time while he was in Britain – from the houses he lived in to football kickabouts in Battersea Park (Marley is revealed to have been a Tottenham Hotspur fan) and visits to the UK’s growing Rastafarian community, including secret gigs in the north of England.

It was in Britain that Marley established himself as an international artist, recorded some of his most successful albums and performed some of his most memorable concerts.

The film features interviews with people who met and worked with Bob Marley in the UK - and whose lives were changed by meeting him – including photographer Dennis Morris (who accompanied Marley on tour), Aswad star Brinsley Forde, Locksley Gishie from The Cimarons and film-maker Don Letts. Also interviewed is reggae legend Marcia Griffiths of Bob Marley’s vocal group The I-Threes.

There are also memories of the most important gigs he played in Britain as told by those who were there to see it happen, including early Wailers gigs in small pubs and clubs when the band were still largely unknown, a now legendary acoustic performance in the school gym of a Peckham high school and a triumphant show at London’s Lyceum Theatre that helped propel Marley to global fame.

FRI 22:00 Bob Marley Reimagined (m001b6m4)
Celebrate the rich legacy of reggae legend Bob Marley in a concert filmed live at Birmingham Town Hall, featuring some of his most celebrated songs and special guests including his grandson Skip Marley.

Presented by Trevor Nelson, this one-hour special reimagines Bob Marley’s greatest hits, including Get Up Stand Up, Exodus, Redemption Song and Waiting in Vain, all layered with new orchestration by Chineke!, Europe’s first majority black and ethnically diverse orchestra.

Chineke! are joined by singer-songwriter JP Cooper, gospel and R&B legend Ruby Turner, and Skip Marley, who makes his debut UK solo performance. Featuring interviews with the performers and members of the Marley family, this concert both honours and brings fresh interpretation to the beloved music of Bob Marley.

FRI 23:00 Reggae at the BBC (b00ymljd)
An archive celebration of great reggae performances filmed in the BBC Studios, drawn from programmes such as The Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops and Later... with Jools Holland, and featuring the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Desmond Dekker, Burning Spear, Althea and Donna, Dennis Brown, Buju Banton and many more.

FRI 00:30 Top of the Pops (m001krc9)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today]

FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (m001krcc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today]

FRI 01:30 Top of the Pops (b08fsgyp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today]

FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (m000pjdq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today]

FRI 02:30 When Bob Marley Came to Britain (m000m7ht)
[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 History of Britain by Simon Schama 21:00 TUE (b0074n2r)

A History of Britain by Simon Schama 02:50 TUE (b0074n2r)

A Pembrokeshire Farm 00:00 MON (b007hzfy)

A Pembrokeshire Farm 00:20 TUE (b007hzg9)

Armando's Tale of Charles Dickens 22:00 SUN (b0195pt7)

Armando's Tale of Charles Dickens 02:40 THU (b0195pt7)

As Time Goes By 00:55 SAT (p0479r3m)

As Time Goes By 20:00 TUE (p0479t07)

Bob Marley Reimagined 22:00 FRI (m001b6m4)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 21:00 MON (b07yqgl3)

Britain's Lost Masterpieces 02:30 MON (b07yqgl3)

Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 MON (m0015fbq)

Canal Boat Diaries 02:00 MON (m0015fbq)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 TUE (b06829t1)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 02:20 TUE (b06829t1)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 WED (b0685bp2)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 02:30 WED (b0685bp2)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 19:30 THU (b06822p8)

Canals: The Making of a Nation 01:10 THU (b06822p8)

Digging for Britain 20:00 MON (m001363k)

Digging for Britain 00:30 MON (m001363k)

Elizabeth R 22:00 WED (p036g8c1)

Elizabeth R 23:30 WED (p036g8c5)

Endgame in Ireland 22:00 MON (p0f9cw3h)

Francesco's Italy: Top to Toe 19:00 SUN (b00791y3)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m000dtbl)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 01:30 MON (m000dtbl)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000dtlr)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 01:50 TUE (m000dtlr)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000dtj4)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 02:00 WED (m000dtj4)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m000dtq2)

Great Asian Railway Journeys 00:40 THU (m000dtq2)

High Society 21:00 THU (m000pyh8)

Horizon 00:10 SUN (b06b9tnx)

How to Make 00:50 TUE (m000hbdk)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 20:00 THU (b01m9vjl)

Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies 01:40 THU (b01m9vjl)

Julius Caesar Revealed 21:00 SUN (b09s0mxj)

Julius Caesar Revealed 01:00 WED (b09s0mxj)

Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure 19:10 SAT (p00xb71l)

Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure 03:05 SAT (p00xb71l)

Michael Palin: The Art of Travel 19:00 SAT (m001kr81)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 20:00 SAT (m000npbl)

Michael Palin: Travels of a Lifetime 02:10 SUN (m000npbl)

Nighty Night 23:55 SAT (b0074cdv)

Nighty Night 00:25 SAT (b0074cfk)

Paris Police 1900 01:20 SAT (p09tql7d)

Paris Police 1900 02:15 SAT (p09tqlr9)

Reggae at the BBC 23:00 FRI (b00ymljd)

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature 23:30 TUE (m0010jp3)

So Long My Son 21:00 SAT (m001kr83)

Storyville 22:00 TUE (m000pjc9)

Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History 01:10 SUN (b0888mjv)

Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History 23:00 MON (b088sznj)

The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak 23:40 SUN (m000gp0h)

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank 21:00 WED (b036f9vc)

The Miracle of the Bells 22:45 THU (b0077nz2)

The Read 20:00 SUN (m001kr7c)

Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001krc9)

Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001krcc)

Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (b08fsgyp)

Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (m000pjdq)

Top of the Pops 00:30 FRI (m001krc9)

Top of the Pops 01:00 FRI (m001krcc)

Top of the Pops 01:30 FRI (b08fsgyp)

Top of the Pops 02:00 FRI (m000pjdq)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? 20:30 TUE (b0077hrr)

When Bob Marley Came to Britain 21:00 FRI (m000m7ht)

When Bob Marley Came to Britain 02:30 FRI (m000m7ht)

When Mary Beard Met... 23:00 SUN (m000dlbz)

Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams 20:00 WED (b0bltzbn)

Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams 03:00 WED (b0bltzbn)