RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/
SATURDAY 02 DECEMBER 2023
SAT 19:00 What’s Your Thing? (p0dgs4dn)
Competitive Onion Growing
Every year, North Yorkshire villagers battle it out to see who can grow the biggest onion. The Windmill Onion Club has been running smoothly in Stainsacre for two decades, but this year, a fresh face attempts to disrupt the status quo.
Journalist Adam Clarkson meets the characters, documents the highs and the lows and follows the local underdog - his dad, Richard.
SAT 19:10 Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow (p01m732z)
Dan Snow and his team continue down the Grand Canyon in antique wooden boats as they rediscover one of the Wild West's great adventures.
SAT 20:10 The Man Who Cycled the Americas (b00rt7ss)
Mark crosses into northern Mexico, a region notorious for drugs-related killings and kidnappings. He is joined by a local photojournalist, who gives him a tour of his home city, Juarez, possibly the most dangerous city on earth.
After 98 days alone on the road, Mark arrives at the 16th-century town of Zacatecas on Mexico's Central Plateau. He's just in time for the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, which means tequila.
After conquering the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, Mark arrives at the Pacific, but this beautiful backdrop has a dark side. He stumbles across a makeshift shrine flanked by murals of the Grim Reaper. It is a place where the locals worship La Santa Muerte - the holy death, a saint-like figure which has been condemned by the Catholic Church but adopted by drugs gangs.
Pushing on through Guatemala and El Salvador, Mark hits the wet season, and the road ahead is soon plagued by thunderstorms and what seems like a dead end in El Salvador. Neighbouring Honduras is under military lockdown, and the ferry to Panama has sunk, but after a few phone calls to the authorities he makes a dash through Honduras with the bike in the back of a truck.
In Panama in torrential rain, his bike develops a serious problem and his only hope lies in the hands of a street side bike shop where they take to his bike with a hammer and a carving knife.
SAT 21:00 Hidden Assets (p0grklc5)
Sixteen months after the bombings, Trestford boss Richard Melnick is found dead in Antwerp. At his memorial service, Bibi is told to leave by Frances Swann, Melnick's successor. The CAB team, led by Claire Wallace, discover their files have been hacked, and CTU’s Christian De Jong remains under investigation for the shooting of Luca Rivera.
SAT 21:50 Hidden Assets (p0grkmvw)
DS Claire Wallace and CI Christian De Jong are shocked to discover who was behind the terrorist attacks, but as the body count grows, will they be able to prove it?
SAT 22:45 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001jgs)
In this first episode of a three-part series, presenter and musician Neil Brand argues that the movie musical was the most important form of cinema from the advent of the age of sound. Beginning with the very first film musical, 1929’s Broadway Melody, Brand looks at the huge and lasting impact of the musical and, in his trademark analysis of songs at the piano, takes us through some of the most important numbers in this first golden age.
The remarkable success of Broadway Melody winning one of the first ever Academy Awards meant that film studios were eager to cash in on the possibilities of musical film. But, as Brand reveals, this was not always to guaranteed success. He shows how the first big-budget, all-colour musical, 1930’s King of Jazz, failed to capture the box office. He discusses how its lack of actual African American jazz musicians was one of its problems, by looking at the first dedicated African American musical - King Vidor’s Hallelujah. With the help of a gospel choir from the Mother AME Zion Church in New York, he examines how much Hallelujah actually reflected life in the Deep South in 1920s America.
Continuing the theme, Brand goes on to explain how the Great Depression in 1930s US actually inspired some of the most progressive and memorable examples of the first golden age of movie musicals: MGM’s 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933. These were remarkably socially aware films, and as Neil demonstrates, songs such as We’re in the Money and Remember My Forgotten Man were both beautifully tuneful and lyrically poignant.
In an unexpected turn, the programme shifts focus to the USSR, where a little-known story of musical film is uncovered. From the early 1930s, Joseph Stalin actually commissioned a series of film musicals to promote the ideology of the Soviet Union. Beginning with the slapstick of 1934’s The Jolly Fellows, two years later came Circus, one of the most extraordinary musical films in Russian history. A tale of an exiled American woman with a mixed-race child, Circus was a remarkable piece of propaganda promoting the Soviet Union as a country of racial inclusion, exactly as Stalin began his 'great purge' - to silence any dissenters from his communist plan.
Back in Hollywood, the musical was surging forward with a whole new level of song and dance movie star; most significantly, the incredible partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. Brand visits the Royal Ballet in London, where principal dancer Steven McRae dances and analyses one of Astaire’s most jaw-dropping numbers, No Strings. Neil also guides us through the music of Top Hat’s iconic song Cheek to Cheek.
Finally, we explore how the introduction of fantasy and fairy tale invigorated the movie musical in the latter years of the 1930s. Walt Disney’s Snow White was a gamble that took three years to make but became one of the highest grossing films of all time, followed by MGM’s unforgettable The Wizard of Oz, released to cinemas a mere two weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War.
SAT 23:45 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001kz4)
In the second episode of the series, Neil Brand looks at how the movie musical entered a second golden age in the aftermath of World War II.
He starts by examining one of the most striking films of that era: 1942’s Die Grosse Liebe. This was made at the height of the conflict, and was a Hollywood-style musical with a distinctly German propaganda bent. Starring Hitler’s favourite chanteuse, Zarah Leander, it sent a patriotic and pro-war message through its songs, and became the highest-grossing film ever in the time of the Third Reich.
Once war had ceased, the American musical once again began to thrive with a colour (literally) and exuberance more pronounced than before. Central to its success, Brand argues, was the emergence of Gene Kelly as the superstar of this new age of Hollywood. Talking with Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, he looks at how this star brought the musical film into the streets of America, most famously with Singin' in the Rain, long believed to be one of the greatest films ever made in any genre.
While musicals lit up the idea of the American Dream, they were also a crucial part of national identity in other countries. In newly independent India, the musical became both a popular form and also a tool for reinforcing cultural identity. Brand takes an in-depth look at two of the most significant movies of this period: Guru Dutt’s Pyassa, and Mother India, long held as perhaps the most defining work of post-war Hindi film.
But it wasn’t just in India that the musical had taken hold of, and reinvigorated, what films could achieve. In China, the Shaw Brothers studios had leapt on the idea of music being a box office draw, and with two remarkable films, The Love Eterne and Hong Kong Nocturne - the latter a remarkable ‘swinging 60s’ romp - taken the country’s cinema to a whole new, Hollywood-inspired level.
Hollywood itself had been forced to adapt to keep up with the times. Rock and roll was seen as the future of musicals, first with simple B movies like Rock around the Clock, but later with the more sophisticated MGM movies of Elvis Presley, most notably Jailhouse Rock. And the rock musical kick started a renaissance in British film too, as Cliff Richard and The Shadows took to the screen in blockbusters such as The Young Ones and Summer Holiday. Neil meets Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch to get the insider story of how these Brit flicks became huge successes.
As the 1960s motored on, the movie musical hit both a boom and a bust. In France, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was a brilliant New Wave reimagining of the musical form as a kind of working-class operetta. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music became a pinnacle of the form, catapulting Julie Andrews to superstardom and becoming one of the most profitable films of all time.
On the other hand, a series of big budget flops suggested the musical had run its course in the world of film. Who could forget Clint Eastwood warbling tunelessly through Paint Your Wagon? What would the future of the Hollywood musical be, if it had one?
The answer was a genius to rival Gene Kelly as a movie musical titan, choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse. Dropping in on a dance class in New York where Fosse’s highly unique style is still being taught today, Neil Brand shows how with Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Fosse totally revived the fortunes of the musical film.
SAT 00:45 The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand (m0001r5r)
In this final episode, Neil Brand asks how the movie musical survived in our modern age.
By the 1970s the whole landscape of cinema had shifted; the biggest movies were no longer feelgood romances but gritty dramas of urban life. And yet, right at this point, two directors famed for such films ventured into the world of musical film. Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and Francis Ford Coppola’s One from The Heart were glossy, highly stylised homages to the golden age of the musical. And both failed to connect with a modern audience.
The musical would find its modern voice by adapting rather than trying to ape the classic formula of old; by being maverick and unconventional, as Neil Brand discovers when meeting Mel Brooks, creator of the unforgettable Springtime for Hitler. And he also meets Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, who argues that Ken Russell’s film of The Who’s rock opera Tommy is the best film ever made!
This recognition of the importance of pop culture, added to a 70s nostalgia for the seemingly more innocent days of the 50s, gave rise to another strain of successful movies: American Graffiti and, most memorably, Grease. It even hit the UK, as former teen star David Essex explains, with his starring role in 1974’s That’ll Be the Day.
The 1970s also saw the movie musical become much more reflective of an increasingly multicultural world, with the huge success of films such as Car Wash, with its soundtrack written by the great Motown composer Norman Whitfield. In Los Angeles, Neil meets up with the film’s director Michael Schultz to discuss how Hollywood took on soul and disco to reinvigorate the musical genre.
As we come to see where the movie musical now stands, we discover it has been as blockbusting as ever; firstly, in India, where the emergence of Bollywood has completely taken over Hindi cinema, with stars such as Shah Rukh Khan selling a film on sheer screen stardom alone - but also back in its base camp of Hollywood, where the success of both La La Land and The Greatest Showman have demonstrated that the movie musical is still a force to be reckoned with.
SAT 01:45 Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow (p01m732z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:10 today
SAT 02:45 The Man Who Cycled the Americas (b00rt7ss)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:10 today
SUNDAY 03 DECEMBER 2023
SUN 19:00 The Classical Collection (m001gn00)
The natural world has always been a powerful inspiration to composers. From vast forests and tiny fish to wild storms and epic seascapes, this programme takes us on an evocative journey through some of the best-loved musical responses to our living planet.
SUN 20:00 Andrew Lloyd Webber at the BBC (m001kl8s)
To mark his 75th birthday, Andrew Lloyd Webber takes a nostalgic journey through the BBC archives, looking back on some of his biggest and best-loved songs.
Alongside performances from stars like Barbra Streisand, Elaine Paige, Diana Ross, Michael Ball and Michael Crawford are stories that Andrew shares from behind the scenes of his most popular works - shedding light on how he knew Madonna would perform Evita years before she did, how the cast of Starlight Express ended up on roller skates, and how Jason Donovan and his Technicolour Dream Coat had a whole new generation falling in love with musical theatre.
SUN 21:30 Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends (m001gppx)
On 3 May 2022, Cameron Mackintosh invited many of Stephen Sondheim’s old friends to join him in London’s West End for a thrilling, joyously staged production. He had specially devised it to celebrate Sondheim’s extraordinary talents as a composer and lyricist.
Featuring an all-star cast including Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Anna-Jane Casey, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis and Julia McKenzie.
SUN 23:40 Sondheim at the BBC (m0012txl)
A celebration of the work of one of the great songwriters and lyricists, Stephen Sondheim, who passed away in November 2021 at the age of 91. A giant of musical theatre, Sondheim first found international fame in 1957 as the lyricist for Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and would inspire generations from that moment on.
This selection includes some of Sondheim’s finest songs, broadcast on the BBC over a period of 60 years, with performances from a cast of his friends and fans that features some of the biggest names of stage and screen, including Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis Jr, Michael Ball and Liza Minnelli.
SUN 01:10 What We Were Watching (m000pjdl)
Song and Dance Spectaculars
Grace Dent invites you to lose yourself on a joyful journey back through the BBC archives, celebrating the broadcaster's song and dance extravaganzas of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – in many ways, the fantastic forerunners to Strictly Come Dancing. They were fun, family-focused and had fondue levels of cheesiness as well as a host of stars such as Cilla Black, Cliff Richard, Lulu, Twiggy and Shirley Bassey. Also featured are some of the biggest dance troupes of the time, including Pan’s People and The Young Generation, one of whose members gets special attention - a pre-Blue Peter Lesley Judd.
All the weird but usually rather wonderful musical performances that Grace has uncovered existed in a strange parallel universe to the pop charts of the time – not remotely cool, even then, but looking back the only way to describe them is ‘fabulous’.
SUN 02:10 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (b00792c9)
King of the Road
Classic 70s sitcom. Frank's local labour exchange puts him to work as a motorbike courier.
SUN 02:45 The Classical Collection (m001gn00)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MONDAY 04 DECEMBER 2023
MON 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbnl)
Paignton to Tiverton
Michael Portillo's exploration of the West Country continues in south Devon. Guided by his 1930s Bradshaw’s, Michael arrives in Paignton to investigate an extraordinarily high murder rate in the literature of the 1930s! The Dartmouth Steam Railway conveys him in style to the beautiful home of Agatha Christie, in the company of her great-grandson, James Prichard.
At Dawlish, Michael discovers violets were so prized between the wars they had their own train to London and that the flower trade continues to flourish at Whetman Pinks, established in the same year as Michael’s Bradshaw’s.
Exeter Station takes centre stage as Michael hears from the granddaughter of publisher Allen Lane how he was inspired to invent the Penguin paperback.
Striking north to Tiverton, in the pretty Culm Valley, Michael traces the origins of a national institution, the Young Farmers’ Clubs, and sees how the organisation has evolved.
MON 19:30 Winter Walks (m001772c)
Follow Adrian Chiles on an intimate walk as he ruminates and reflects on life. A keen walker, Adrian explores Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. He talks openly about his challenges with mental health, his diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and the ‘resetting’ powers of taking a stroll.
Walking alone with a 360-degree camera, Adrian starts his journey at the windswept Scalby Ness. He meets craft-recycling beachcombers before heading to the mighty headland and Scarborough Castle. After a walk through the old town, he watches the sun settle at the picturesque harbour. Adrian is in his element, meeting, chatting and enjoying the company of other people while moseying around this quaint and colourful seaside town.
Taking in the vast Jurassic headland with its historic Bronze Age and Roman settlements, Adrian reflects on mankind’s time on earth as he absorbs the vistas across North and South Bay. In a tender moment visiting St Mary’s Church, Adrian pauses for quiet contemplation and discusses the importance of his Catholic faith.
Leaving for the old town, he pays a visit to Anne Bronte’s final resting place to say thank you for the inspiration her literature has given him. On the final stretch along the beach, Adrian is energised and charmed by a group of women swimmers, bracing the February North Sea as they head out for a dip. In a powerful closing moment, Adrian extols ‘resetting and taking time to reflect’ by exploring new places and ‘breathing different air’.
MON 20:00 An Art Lovers' Guide (b09yndw6)
In the first of a series of city adventures, Janina Ramirez and Alastair Sooke head to Lisbon, rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
Winding through the city’s cobbled streets, from its steep hills to the picturesque shore line, the cultural riches they encounter reveal the city's fascinating history.
From a spectacular monument, to the maritime globetrotting of Portugal’s ‘golden age and the work of a photographer documenting the city's large African population, they discover a complex history of former glories and a darker, slave-trading past.
Their journey also uncovers the impact of twentieth century dictatorship on the city's artistic and cultural life, through the work of contemporary artists Paula Rego and Joana Vasconcelos.
And they discover how the city's location on the west coast of Europe, looking out to the Atlantic, has shaped the cosmopolitan spirit of the city: in one of the city's Fado clubs, Alastair and Nina enjoy the popular Portuguese folk music, whose beautiful melodies celebrate a yearning for home, once sung by sailors dreaming of their return.
MON 21:00 Art That Made Us (p0bvgvtr)
Wars and Peace
Art goes to war during the first half of the 20th century: war with the old imperial order, war with convention and war with the very idea of what it means to be human. This is a story of artists grappling with the destruction, fighting back and transforming the culture of the Isles.
Actress Michelle Fairley performs WB Yeats’s poem Easter 1916, with its resonant phrase ‘a terrible beauty is born’ marking a turning of the tide against the British Empire. Contemporary war photographer Oliver Chanarin traces the story of William Orpen’s subversive protest image, To the Unknown British Soldier in France, picturing a lone draped coffin amid the magnificence of the Palace of Versailles, where peace delegates met in 1919.
Some artists rejected war with their bohemian lifestyles or their utopian visions of a better future for the people. Artist Lachlan Goudie explores the great interwar shipbuilding project, the Queen Mary ocean liner, with its fusion of Glaswegian engineering and art deco luxury.
As refugees flee Germany in the 1930s ahead of a new war, comedian Eddie Izzard appreciates the radical modernist vision of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, designed by German and Russian Jewish émigrés, and photographer Hannah Starkey reflects on the outsider’s point of view photographer Bill Brandt brought to his images of 1930s poverty, including the seminal Coal-Searcher Going Home to Jarrow.
With the Second World War bringing new horrors, artists grappled with Nazi atrocities. Film director Andrew MacDonald explores the controversy sparked by The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, a highly original take on the British war effort written and produced by his grandfather Emeric Pressburger. Artist Ryan Gander examines how sculptor Barbara Hepworth tried to make sense of war by reaching for beauty in abstract human forms, and Denzil Forrester looks ahead to the postcolonial aftermath of war, signalled by Indian artist FN Souza’s suffering black Christ in his 1959 painting Crucifixion.
MON 22:00 Seeds of Deceit: The Sperm Donor Doctor (p0gjc6vc)
Dr Jan Karbaat was the most renowned fertility doctor in the Netherlands, but a deception lay at the heart of his practice. His former patients, who became the mothers of ‘Karbaat’ children, discuss their long-standing desire to have children and how it led them to close their eyes to an often horrific and unbearable insemination treatment.
MON 22:45 Seeds of Deceit: The Sperm Donor Doctor (p0gjc7kf)
The news gets out, leaving the Karbaat children to grapple with their genetic and emotional heritage, debating the impact of nature and nurture. The children share conflicting emotions of recognition and belonging, set against the fear of inheriting malicious genetic traits.
MON 23:30 Antony Gormley: How Art Began (b0c1ngds)
Why do humans make art? When did we begin to make our mark on the world? And where? In this film, Britain's most celebrated sculptor Antony Gormley is setting out on a journey to see for himself the very beginnings of art.
Once we believed that art began with the cave paintings of Ice Age Europe, tens of thousands of years ago. But now, extraordinary new
discoveries around the world are overturning that idea. Antony is going to travel across the globe, and thousands of years back in time, to piece together a new story of how art began. He discovers beautiful, haunting and surprising works of art, deep inside caves across France, Spain and Indonesia, and in Australian rock shelters. He finds images created by hunter-gatherers that surprise him with their tenderness, and affinity with the natural world. He discovers the secrets behind the techniques used by our ancestors to create these paintings. And he meets experts making discoveries that are turning the clock back on when art first began.
Finally Antony asks what these images from millennia ago can tell us - about who we are. As he says, 'If we can look closely at the art of our ancestors, perhaps we will be able to reconnect with something vital that we have lost."'.
MON 00:45 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dbnl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 01:15 Winter Walks (m001772c)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
MON 01:45 An Art Lovers' Guide (b09yndw6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
MON 02:45 Art That Made Us (p0bvgvtr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
TUESDAY 05 DECEMBER 2023
TUE 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dblt)
Taunton to Salisbury Plain
Michael Portillo crosses the county line from Devon into Somerset on his rail exploration of the West Country steered by his 1930s Bradshaw's guide.
He sees first-hand how willow farmers sought to overcome the challenge from the production of synthetic plastics during the 1930s. He hears how tourism for all budgets spread across the region, especially amongst the young, for whom youth hostels sprang up, with good wishes from none other than the prime minister of the day, Stanley Baldwin.
In the city of Bath, Michael visits the former home of a refugee emperor, whose country was invaded by the Italian dictator Mussolini, and in whose name a religious movement began, which now flourishes worldwide.
Travelling east into Wiltshire, Michael reaches the largest training area of the British Army, Salisbury Plain, where the Royal Tank Regiment, established in 1939, is on manoeuvres with its awesome Streetfighter tank.
TUE 19:30 Walking With... (m00111q6)
Walking with Kate Garraway
Broadcaster Kate Garraway goes for an invigorating walk along the edge of the Cotswolds Hills. As she passes through the patch where she first cut her teeth as a reporter, she takes time to appreciate the stunning landscapes.
From the panoramic viewpoint of Painswick Beacon, Kate descends through beech woods to the village of Upton St Leonards, soaking up the sounds of nature as she goes. From there she climbs Cooper’s
Hill and wanders down to the church at Great Witcombe. Kate relishes the chance to have nothing to do but take in the ‘joy and rhythm of the
countryside’ as she crosses the gentle, rolling hills with just a 360-degree camera for company.
Along the way she meets local craftspeople who are inspired by the ‘living theatre’ of the landscapes. Kate finds her natural surroundings a source of inspiration and resilience as she reflects on a year of challenges and change.
TUE 20:00 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (p03g0mmv)
The Spencers visit Australia House to discuss their possible emigration. Frank takes elocution lessons to prepare for his flying lessons.
TUE 20:35 Yes, Minister (b00785g8)
The Moral Dimension
Jim Hacker has to balance conflicting moral demands when he travels to Qumran to ratify a British electronics firm's contract.
TUE 21:05 Berlin 1933 (p0gjkkp1)
After being appointed as Reich chancellor in January 1933, Adolf Hitler embarks on a push to consolidate power. He begins to purge government ministries and the civil service, and takes control of the press and radio.
Propaganda messages and broadcasts show a changing Berlin on the verge of a disaster. Thousands of opponents are jailed or disappear, and Jewish professionals and businesses are targeted. Letters to friends and family outside from those living through the gradual stigmatisation of Jewish people illustrate the fear and uncertainty that grew.
TUE 22:00 The Wicker Man (m001t443)
A puritan police sergeant arrives on a Scottish island in search of a missing girl, who the Pagan locals claim never existed.
TUE 23:30 Ex-S: The Wicker Man (m001t449)
Documentary about cult film The Wicker Man.
TUE 00:00 Arena (m001t44j)
Writer Peter Shaffer talks about his plays, his life and the theatre.
'I think the live experience in the theatre is very important when you can see shocks and murmurs going through the house. It has a communal nature. A great play or a great production is a revelation, this is the function of all art, it doesn't have to be solemn - it's a moment, a leap of excitement inside oneself, which can be attached to a moral insight or a laugh, and it comes bolting out like rabbits out of a hedge.'
With an extract from the 1976 stage production of Equus starring, Colin Blakely and Gerry Sundquist.
TUE 00:35 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dblt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 01:05 Walking With... (m00111q6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
TUE 01:35 Berlin 1933 (p0gjkkp1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:05 today
TUE 02:25 Antony Gormley: How Art Began (b0c1ngds)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Monday
WEDNESDAY 06 DECEMBER 2023
WED 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl5b)
Canterbury to Alexandra Palace
Steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guidebook, this week Michael Portillo explores the east of England in the interwar period.
Beginning in Canterbury in Kent, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play, published in 1936, inspired by the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas à Becket.
In Maidstone, Michael learns of the international origins of the most British symbol of remembrance, before paying his respects at a war memorial based on London’s Cenotaph.
Outside Sevenoaks, Michael visits the country home of one of his political heroes, Sir Winston Churchill, and discovers how the 1930s were wilderness years at Chartwell, as Churchill warned against Nazi German appeasement.
As Michael enters the capital, there is a visit to the brand new London Bridge station before he heads to Alexandra Palace, the birthplace of television.
WED 19:30 Walking With... (m00111h4)
Walking with Nick Grimshaw
Famous for waking up the nation on Radio One and his afternoon drive-time show, DJ and presenter Nick Grimshaw heads to the north east of England for a stroll through a fascinating landscape. Exploring historic areas of Warkworth and Amble in Northumberland, Nick begins his walk at first light, dipping his toes in the sea for a refreshing wake-me-up along the beach.
Crossing sand dunes and an ancient river, Nick heads for the streets of Warkworth and reflects on the importance of family life, including the positive influence of his late father. Nick talks about recognising his sexuality as he was growing up - including questioning what ‘being gay’ would actually mean.
Taking the short boat crossing to the extraordinary Warkworth Hermitage - a retreat carved from a sandstone cliff - Nick talks about the benefits meditation has brought to his life. As Nick approaches the end of his walk, the conversation turns to the future. He talks passionately about his desire to start his own family with his partner. Revitalised after his seven-mile walk, Nick enjoys the sunset at Amble pier and vows to return to Northumberland.
WED 20:00 Earth from Space (p072n8b8)
We think of the Earth as a blue planet, but satellite cameras reveal it to be a kaleidoscope. The astonishing colours of the aurora are towering vertical streaks, hundreds of kilometres high, phytoplankton blooms turn the ocean into works of art, triggering a feeding frenzy, and for a few weeks a year China's Yunnan province is carpeted in yellow as millions of rapeseed flowers bloom.
This is our home, as we’ve never seen it before.
WED 21:00 How to See a Black Hole: The Universe's Greatest Mystery (m00042l4)
For two years BBC cameras have followed, Dr Sheperd Doeleman of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the work of the Event Horizon Telescope project team, a collective of the top scientific minds from around the world. The project combines radio observatories and telescope facilities from around the world to make up a virtual telescope with a diameter spanning the entire planet. This mega-telescope’s ultimate mission is to capture the first image ever of a black hole. Although the concept of black holes has been long assumed to be fact, the Event Horizon Telescope’s success would definitively prove the existence of this scientific phenomena for the first time – and provide clear visual evidence.
The programme brings viewers into the laboratories, behind the computer screens and beside the telescopes of what may prove to be one of the great astrophysical achievements in human history.
WED 22:00 Making Out (p0g3k2zx)
Things start to look up for the factory under Mr Kim's management. Meanwhile, Klepto prepares to go to Newcastle Uni, Queenie is eight months pregnant, and can Carol May keep her marriage together?
WED 22:50 Making Out (p0g3x9pm)
Queenie and Rosie prepare for motherhood, but is the hospital prepared for Queenie?
WED 23:40 Making Out (p0g3xds5)
Pauline is underwhelmed by Frankie's over-enthusiastic seduction techniques.
WED 00:30 Making Out (p0g3zqwg)
Carol May's husband gets a new obsession, and a handsome young stranger arrives on Queenie's doorstep.
WED 01:20 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl5b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 01:50 Walking With... (m00111h4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WED 02:20 Earth from Space (p072n8b8)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 07 DECEMBER 2023
THU 19:00 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl64)
Limehouse to Rochford
Following his 1936 Bradshaw’s guidebook, Michael Portillo explores the east of England, in London and Essex, en route to Lincolnshire.
On this leg, Michael alights at Limehouse in east London for Cable Street, which became the focus of Britain’s fight against fascism in the 1930s.
Heading east, he arrives in Dagenham, the location of one of Henry Ford’s first car factories in the UK. Michael discovers the story of the first £100 family vehicle and gets behind the wheel of a pioneering pick-up truck.
Leaving London, Michael crosses into Essex and in Southend gets the scoop on a seaside favourite, and heads to the world-famous pier with his ‘gelato’ cart.
In Rochford in Essex, Michael learns how an unusual alliance between London’s Crossrail railway project and conservation is helping thousands of birds.
THU 19:30 Walking With... (m001111j)
Walking with Shappi Khorsandi
Comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi walks through stunning scenery in the Peak District and along the Monsal Trail. From the hills above Tideswell, Shappi follows tracks and footpaths along Tideswell Dale and Miller’s Dale before reaching the disused railway line of the Monsal Trail. Along the way she meets residents who are charmed by her characteristic wit and ease.
Taking time to appreciate the hills and ridges surrounding her, Shappi enjoys a sense of calm and composure in the country air. Walking along the trail as it tunnels through hillsides and over gorges, Shappi takes the opportunity to ‘allow the hills to hold’ her. She talks candidly about her outlook on life and love. Funny and poignant, the comedian speaks of relationships, motherhood and mental health with a refreshing honesty
THU 20:00 Witness for the Prosecution (m000z8b6)
Eminent barrister Sir Wilfrid Roberts returns to his chambers after illness, with strict instructions from his doctor not to take on any strenuous criminal cases. But he cannot resist the prospect of defending Leonard Vole, who has been accused of murdering a wealthy widow.
THU 21:55 Arena (m001symq)
Billy, How Did You Do It? - Part 2
Second of three in-depth conversations with film director and writer Billy Wilder. He recalls his memories of the great Hollywood stars - 'Mae West walked out of the door all white gold and feathers. She looked like a locomotive.' He also talks about working with silent film star Gloria Swanson on Sunset Boulevard, the tensions of working with Humphrey Bogart and the consummate artistry of Gary Cooper.
THU 22:50 Arena (m001t638)
American film actress Louise Brooks has become one of the most celebrated icons of early cinema. Her performance as unrepentant pleasure-seeker Lulu in GW Pabst's Pandora's Box made her a legend, and Brooks's own life had more than a touch of Lulu's reckless abandon about it.
In this episode of Arena, first transmitted not long after her death in 1985, Brooks talks candidly about her greatest days in Paris and Berlin and the harsh retribution that was exacted by Hollywood. Featuring clips from her varied screen performances.
THU 23:50 Arena (b01pjlhv)
Documentary about the early female movie stars: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe - immortal goddesses made by Hollywood to reign over the silver screen.
With the beginnings of Hollywood, the star system was born with an archetypal bad girl - the vampish Theda Bara - and the good girl - the blazingly sincere Lillian Gish. From the 1920s, vivacious Clara Bow and seductive siren Louise Brooks are most remembered, but none made the impact of Marlene Dietrich, an icon of mystery, or Greta Garbo, with her perfect features and gloomy introspection.
From the power of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to the seductiveness of Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, Hollywood studios produced their own brand of beautiful, sassy and confident women. But it wasn't to last. The era drew to a close with the supreme fame of Elizabeth Taylor and the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe.
Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern.
THU 00:50 Ex-S: The Wicker Man (m001t449)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Tuesday
THU 01:20 Great British Railway Journeys (m000dl64)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
THU 01:50 Walking With... (m001111j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 02:20 How to See a Black Hole: The Universe's Greatest Mystery (m00042l4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday
FRIDAY 08 DECEMBER 2023
FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (m001t61j)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
Dale Winton presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 13 July 1995 and featuring Jinny, MN8, Seal, Cast, Brownstone, Hole, Edwyn Collins, Supergrass, The Outhere Brothers and Soul II Soul.
FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (m001t61l)
Gayle Tuesday (Brenda Gilhooly) presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 July 1995 and featuring Corona, Dana Dawson, Paul Weller, Soul II Soul, Shaggy featuring Rayvon, U2, Diana King, Take That, The Outhere Brothers and Tecknicolour.
FRI 20:00 Top of the Pops (m000ty1q)
Mark Goodier presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 6 December 1990 and featuring The Farm, Cliff Richard and Vanilla Ice.
FRI 20:30 Top of the Pops (b086xg7z)
Simon Bates presents the weekly chart show, first broadcast on 9 December 1982. Includes appearances from Shalamar, Soft Cell, Shakin' Stevens, Yazoo, Junior, Lionel Richie, The Jam, Renee & Renato and David Bowie & Bing Crosby.
FRI 21:00 Burt Bacharach at the Electric Proms (b072n18t)
Edith Bowman opens the Electric Proms 2008 in style, introducing legendary American songwriter Burt Bacharach at the Roundhouse in London's Camden Town. Accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, he is joined on stage by some of Britain's finest home-grown talent: Adele, Beth Rowley and Jamie Cullum, who all ensure that this is an evening packed with classic, swooning tunes.
FRI 22:00 Burt Bacharach: A Life in Song (b06qnnbz)
A unique concert staged at the Royal Festival Hall celebrating the music of the legendary songwriter and performer Burt Bacharach.
Some of Burt's most famous songs are performed by a stellar line-up of artists including Alfie Boe, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Shaun Escoffery, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Hayward, Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Mvula and Joss Stone. Burt himself also performs accompanied by his band. During the concert Burt chats to Michael Grade about the art of songwriting and shares the stories behind some of his best-loved hits.
FRI 23:30 Burt Bacharach: A Tribute from Ronnie Scott’s (m001kz71)
World-famous jazz club Ronnie Scott’s hosts a tribute to Burt Bacharach - a songwriter, producer and pianist who us widely seen as one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century.
Clive Myrie is at the show, which features brand new jazz-inspired arrangements of some of Burt Bacharach’s best-loved music by the club’s artistic director James Pearson. The setlist spans Burt Bacharach’s epic career and includes The Look of Love, Alfie, Wives and Lovers, Do You Know the Way to San Jose and That’s What Friends Are For.
FRI 00:45 Burt Bacharach at Glastonbury (b060zf2p)
Burt Bacharach, legendary singer and songwriter of countless classic songs from the late 1950s onwards, including 52 UK Top 40 hits, makes his debut on the Pyramid Stage to perform a selection of those classic tracks from his wonderful back catalogue.
FRI 01:45 Top of the Pops (b086xg7z)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:30 today
FRI 02:15 Top of the Pops (m000ty1q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 02:45 Top of the Pops (m001t61j)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
FRI 03:15 Top of the Pops (m001t61l)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
An Art Lovers' Guide 20:00 MON (b09yndw6)
An Art Lovers' Guide 01:45 MON (b09yndw6)
Andrew Lloyd Webber at the BBC 20:00 SUN (m001kl8s)
Antony Gormley: How Art Began 23:30 MON (b0c1ngds)
Antony Gormley: How Art Began 02:25 TUE (b0c1ngds)
Arena 00:00 TUE (m001t44j)
Arena 21:55 THU (m001symq)
Arena 22:50 THU (m001t638)
Arena 23:50 THU (b01pjlhv)
Art That Made Us 21:00 MON (p0bvgvtr)
Art That Made Us 02:45 MON (p0bvgvtr)
Berlin 1933 21:05 TUE (p0gjkkp1)
Berlin 1933 01:35 TUE (p0gjkkp1)
Burt Bacharach at Glastonbury 00:45 FRI (b060zf2p)
Burt Bacharach at the Electric Proms 21:00 FRI (b072n18t)
Burt Bacharach: A Life in Song 22:00 FRI (b06qnnbz)
Burt Bacharach: A Tribute from Ronnie Scott’s 23:30 FRI (m001kz71)
Earth from Space 20:00 WED (p072n8b8)
Earth from Space 02:20 WED (p072n8b8)
Ex-S: The Wicker Man 23:30 TUE (m001t449)
Ex-S: The Wicker Man 00:50 THU (m001t449)
Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 MON (m000dbnl)
Great British Railway Journeys 00:45 MON (m000dbnl)
Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 TUE (m000dblt)
Great British Railway Journeys 00:35 TUE (m000dblt)
Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 WED (m000dl5b)
Great British Railway Journeys 01:20 WED (m000dl5b)
Great British Railway Journeys 19:00 THU (m000dl64)
Great British Railway Journeys 01:20 THU (m000dl64)
Hidden Assets 21:00 SAT (p0grklc5)
Hidden Assets 21:50 SAT (p0grkmvw)
How to See a Black Hole: The Universe's Greatest Mystery 21:00 WED (m00042l4)
How to See a Black Hole: The Universe's Greatest Mystery 02:20 THU (m00042l4)
Making Out 22:00 WED (p0g3k2zx)
Making Out 22:50 WED (p0g3x9pm)
Making Out 23:40 WED (p0g3xds5)
Making Out 00:30 WED (p0g3zqwg)
Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow 19:10 SAT (p01m732z)
Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow 01:45 SAT (p01m732z)
Seeds of Deceit: The Sperm Donor Doctor 22:00 MON (p0gjc6vc)
Seeds of Deceit: The Sperm Donor Doctor 22:45 MON (p0gjc7kf)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em 02:10 SUN (b00792c9)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em 20:00 TUE (p03g0mmv)
Sondheim at the BBC 23:40 SUN (m0012txl)
Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends 21:30 SUN (m001gppx)
The Classical Collection 19:00 SUN (m001gn00)
The Classical Collection 02:45 SUN (m001gn00)
The Man Who Cycled the Americas 20:10 SAT (b00rt7ss)
The Man Who Cycled the Americas 02:45 SAT (b00rt7ss)
The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 22:45 SAT (m0001jgs)
The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 23:45 SAT (m0001kz4)
The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand 00:45 SAT (m0001r5r)
The Wicker Man 22:00 TUE (m001t443)
Top of the Pops 19:00 FRI (m001t61j)
Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (m001t61l)
Top of the Pops 20:00 FRI (m000ty1q)
Top of the Pops 20:30 FRI (b086xg7z)
Top of the Pops 01:45 FRI (b086xg7z)
Top of the Pops 02:15 FRI (m000ty1q)
Top of the Pops 02:45 FRI (m001t61j)
Top of the Pops 03:15 FRI (m001t61l)
Walking With... 19:30 TUE (m00111q6)
Walking With... 01:05 TUE (m00111q6)
Walking With... 19:30 WED (m00111h4)
Walking With... 01:50 WED (m00111h4)
Walking With... 19:30 THU (m001111j)
Walking With... 01:50 THU (m001111j)
What We Were Watching 01:10 SUN (m000pjdl)
What’s Your Thing? 19:00 SAT (p0dgs4dn)
Winter Walks 19:30 MON (m001772c)
Winter Walks 01:15 MON (m001772c)
Witness for the Prosecution 20:00 THU (m000z8b6)
Yes, Minister 20:35 TUE (b00785g8)