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BBC Documentaries

Season 2014 2014

  • 2014-01-02T21:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • 13 days, 7 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.

321 episodes

2014x01 PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster

  • Season Premiere

    2014-01-02T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Jeremy Clarkson tells the dramatic story of the Arctic convoys of the Second World War, from Russia to the freezing Arctic Ocean. Accompanied by moving first hand testimony from the men who served on these convoys, Clarkson reveals the incredible hazards faced by members of the Merchant and Royal Navy who delivered vital war supplies via the Arctic to the Soviet Union: temperatures of minus 50 degrees, huge icebergs, colossal waves, not to mention German U-boats and the Luftwaffe. It is no wonder that Churchill described the Arctic Convoys as 'the worst journey in the world.'

1979 was a unique year for Top of the Pops, which saw the show record its highest audience of 19 million viewers and in which physical format singles sales hit an all-time high of 79 million. 1979 is maybe the most diverse year ever for acts on Top of the Pops with disco at its peak, new wave, 2 Tone, reggae, rock, folk and electro records all making the top five. Original interviews with Gary Numan, Nile Rodgers, Woody from Madness, Jah Wobble, Chas and Dave, Janet Kay, Linda Nolan, Jim Dooley, Secret Affair, the Ruts, Legs and Co and many others tell the story of an exceptional year. In the year that the 'winter of discontent' saw continuing strikes black out ITV and TOTP reduced during a technicians strike to a narrator introducing videos, the show also found itself the site of conflict backstage. TOTP's old guard of 70s MOR acts had their feathers continually ruffled by new wave bands, as the Skids spat at the Nolan Sisters backstage and Generation X urinated off the roof onto the Dooleys. Elsewhere in the corridors of TV Centre, in preparation for playing their single Death Disco, Public Image Ltd demanded their teeth were blacked out in make-up to appear ugly while Gary Numan remembers the overbearing union presence which prevented TOTP artists moving their own microphones without a union technician and the Musicians Union trying to ban him from the show for his use of synthesizers. The most popular musical styles of 1979 were 2 Tone, reggae and disco. The latter saw Nile Rodgers, the man of the year, score four hits with Chic as well as writing and producing a further four hits with Sister Sledge, Sheila B Devotion and Sugarhill Gang, who appeared with what would prove to be the first ever rap hit. Jamaican and UK reggae artists scored continual hits through the year and then watched as the Police notched up three hits with white reggae and the label 2 Tone revived the 60s reggae style known as ska. In November, in what is remembered as the 2 Tone edition, all three of the label's new acts - Madness, Specials and Selecter - appeared on one historic night and took the show by storm, with Madness capping off their performance of One Step Beyond by leading a 'nutty train' conga through the studio.

An anthology of Dave Allen's finest, funniest and most irreverent material, compiled from his time at the BBC from 1971 to 1986.

James May attempts to build a motorbike and sidecar entirely out of Meccano to take round the Isle of Man's famous TT circuit. But designing a machine capable of carrying James and his passenger, wine expert Oz Clarke, around the daunting 37-mile course is not a task for the faint-hearted. Fifteen thousand pieces of Meccano must be assembled to create a full-size, road-legal motorcycle that James hopes will be more than a match for the circuit's treacherous twists and turns, steep climbs and dizzying descents. And as in the real TT, the bike must race against the clock.

2014x05 The Truth about Immigration

  • 2014-01-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

BBC political editor Nick Robinson examines the public's anxieties about immigration and reveals the facts of an issue that has transformed British politics. With Britain braced for a new wave of migrants from eastern Europe, a subject once regarded as toxic is now at the forefront of political discussion. The programme dissects the decisions which led to the biggest surge of immigration in modern history and asks whether politicians can control immigration as much as they claim, looking at the potential consequences of their pledges.

A richly detailed journey through the epic history of still life painting, featuring a range of delights from the earliest existing Xenia mural paintings discovered at Pompeii to the cubist masterpieces of Picasso. Awash with rich imagery of fruit, flowers and humble domestic objects, this lively take on the story of still life encompasses the work of some of the genre's greatest artists from Caravaggio to Chardin and Cezanne. But it also captures the surprising contributions of the less well known, including asparagus enthusiast Adriaen Coorte and female flower painter in the court of Louis XVI, Anne Vallayer-Coster. With contributions from historians Bettany Hughes and Janina Ramirez, art historians Andrew Graham Dixon and Norman Bryson, and philosopher Alain de Botton amongst others, it opens up the huge social histories that lie behind the paintings and the fascinating lives of the people who made them.

Michael Grade saw Annie Get Your Gun as a small boy in the 1950s and ever since he has been hooked on musicals - and their stars. He and his family have represented some of the world's greatest musical performers and he knows and understands talent. But one question has always fascinated him - is it the musical which creates the star or the star who makes the musical? In search of answers, Michael interviews stars and directors on both sides of the Atlantic, including Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Hal Prince and Trevor Nunn. In what way are the qualities of a musical star unique? Michael explores the alchemy of the musical by looking at performances from the 1940s onwards in key shows like Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Evita and Les Miserables - examining the union of musicals that brilliantly reflect their time with performers who can interpret their magic. Michael uses all the knowledge, taste and judgement he has built up over decades as he sets out to define what it is that makes the great musical stars great.

Sir Terry Wogan discovers why timing is everything as he explores the human body clock, a ticking timepiece that lives in our brain and controls the daily rhythms of our body with the outside world. Many people are completely unaware of it, and have no idea there is an optimum time for everything - from driving safely to exercising, and even visiting the dentist.

To become a Salvation Army officer, cadets must shed the skin of their old lives, promise to reject treasures on earth in favour of true spiritual gifts and commit to 'care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable and befriend those who have no friends'. This documentary takes us inside the training college for this most distinctive of British institutions, introducing the individuals and families who give up their jobs and leave their homes to work full-time for 'The Army' for just £7,500 a year. We meet new recruit Darron, who has left behind a successful career as a commercial baker and moved his family onto the college campus; Sylvia, a former ballroom dancer turned social worker who is beginning her work on the streets helping the fallen; and Annmarie, who was rescued by social services when she was a child and joined the Salvation Army when she was adopted. The uniforms, rank structure and brass bands are as much as part of Army life as social work with the homeless, prostitutes, trafficked women and addicts. This subtle and sensitive film also explores the universal questions of virtue, faith, doubt and the nature of salvation. As the new recruits adjust to the strict code and unwritten rules of this deeply institutionalised organisation, we hear their stories of God's personal calling, the transformation that led them to take this leap of faith and the doubts they face.

2014x10 Secrets of the Sales

  • 2014-01-06T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Our high street chains are powerful selling machines. With exclusive access to some of Britain's biggest stores, Cherry Healey goes behind the scenes to find out how the sales work from the inside - so that we can all become savvier sale shoppers. Cherry goes backstage in the John Lewis summer sale, gets inside a critical mark down meeting where sale prices and sale strategy are set, and she discovers the addictive way bargain hunting can affect our bodies. Cherry also uncovers hidden sales offering huge price cuts, learns how major high street retailers use scent to try and influence our behaviour, and meets with a sofa manufacturer willing to admit furniture sales can be a psychological trick.

There are believed to be over 600,000 illegal immigrants in the UK today, the subject of heated political debate but frequently hidden from public view. Foreign correspondent Fergal Keane finds out what life is really like for a group of illegal immigrants struggling to survive on Britain's streets. He asks what drew them here, follows their battles to beat the system and shows how ineffective the authorities can be in dealing with them

Documentary about an adventure that has become known as the greatest dog story ever told and captured the imagination of children and adults throughout the world for almost a century. On January 28, 1925, newspapers and radio stations broke a terrifying story - diphtheria had broken out in Nome, Alaska, a city separated from the rest of the world for seven months by a frozen ocean. With aviation still in its infancy and amidst one of the harshest winters on record, there was only one way to reach the town - dogsled. In minus 60 degrees, over 20 men and at least 150 dogs, among them the famous Balto, set out to relay the antitoxin across 674 miles of Alaskan wilderness to save the town.

After weeks of devastating weather across the UK, Sophie Raworth presents a special programme in which BBC News correspondents report on the scale of the damage, what caused it, and how those affected by it are coping.

2014x14 Underage and Over the Limit

  • 2014-01-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Underage drinking is a serious issue in the North East of England. The region has the country's highest percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds drinking alcohol and it also has double the national average of under-18s in treatment for drink related problems. This film follows Phil Tye, a youth worker on the frontline who is fighting against the drink epidemic, and asks teenagers why they start drinking so early and why they drink so much.

Neil Oliver follows the work of the team of historians and scientists trying to discover the final resting place of the remains of 9th-century English king Alfred the Great, with the monarch's bones having been moved so many times over the years that many people concluded that they were lost for ever. Travelling from Winchester to Rome, Neil also tells the story of Alfred's life, revealing a man who forged a united language and identity and laid the foundations of the English nation.

An intimate family portrait of the film director John Boorman by one who should know him best - his daughter Katrine. Now over 80 years old, the director of Hell in the Pacific, Excalibur, Deliverance and The Emerald Forest is one of the last great mavericks. His daughter, who previously had never held a camera, spent four years filming her father who, during the process, found it impossible to resist taking control and offering her a crash course in filmmaking. Vulnerable, cross, funny, wild and wise, Boorman chronicles his adventures in Hollywood, but also talks with great honesty about his childhood, his marriages, his passion for nature, his need for danger and why film is the only thing he ever truly loved. Though the film is also a portrait of one of the most influential British filmmakers of the last 40 years, most of all it is a story of a father and daughter finding their way back to each other through the language of film.

2014x17 The Naked Rambler

  • 2014-01-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Stephen Gough has been in prison in Scotland for nearly seven years. Most of that time he has been naked in solitary confinement. Stephen is 'the Naked Rambler', well-known for walking in public wearing just a pair of boots and a rucksack. A controversial figure, Stephen's incarceration has meant he has not seen his two teenage children grow up. This film follows Stephen as he attempts to walk home to his family in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Walking over 400 miles naked is fraught with difficulties. It is a four-month quest beset by arrests, police cells, court appearances, releases, rearrests and prison. Along the way, director Guy Gilbert attempts to understand how Stephen became the most notorious naked man in Britain and to examine his quest for 'freedom'. Why does a man persist in public nakedness when, time and again, his actions have landed him in jail? How does the public react to the sight of him? Is what he does 'wrong'? Is his cause really worth more than his family? Helping us understand, perspectives are offered from Stephen's family and from supporters who join him along the way. By turns funny, frustrating and emotional, this film challenges our own notions of the law, freedom and morality.

In 1944, at the Nazi concentration camp of Terezin, the imprisoned Czech conductor Rafael Schachter formed a choir of 150 of his fellow Jewish prisoners to brazenly perform Verdi's Requiem before the very Nazis who had condemned them to death. Transcending the horrors around them, night after night they rehearsed in a dark, mouldy and suffocating cellar, with a broken piano. In a calm message of defiance, each time a choir member was murdered by the SS, a new singer would replace them. The final performance took place in front of the camp's Nazi brass, visiting high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and gullible Red Cross inspectors brought in to verify that the prisoners were being well treated. This film features surviving Nazi propaganda footage of Terezin as it was perversely stage-managed during a Red Cross inspection visit to appear like an attractive Jewish commune. Shortly after the performance, both Schachter and most of his choir would be sent to Auschwitz. But through the transformation of Verdi's music into a proclamation of their unbroken spirit and warning of God's coming wrath against their captors, the prisoners had been able to sing to their captors what they dared not say. For over ten years, distinguished American conductor Murry Sidlin, who found out about the choir in the 1990s, dreamed of bringing the Requiem back to Terezin. Now, through soaring concert footage, powerful survivor recollections, cinematic dramatizations and evocative animation, their heartbreaking story is brought to life.

2014x19 The Zoo Next Door

  • 2014-01-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

With over 70 million pets at home, Britain is a nation of animal lovers. The Zoo Next Door features people who've taken animal ownership to extremes. Jasmine Harman has previously helped hoarders to take their lives in hand but in this film she meets animal fanatics who've virtually given up their lives for their animals. Jasmine, who's mad about dogs, brings the animal welfare experts in when change is needed but finds out that even with extreme numbers, some owners wouldn't change a thing.

Historian Dan Snow looks back at 90 years of the Winter Olympics and shows how the political upheaval of the 20th and 21st century had an impact on the Games. Dan embarks on an epic journey across nine countries meeting some of the key people who helped shape the Winter Games. He tells the disturbing story of the Winter Olympics in Nazi Germany, the tense Olympic rivalry between East and West during the cold war, ending with the Miracle on Ice and the unforgettable, emotional Olympics in Sarajevo. Sarajevo was a city that in 1984 chimed to the music of Bolero - Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean reminisce about their performance as if it was a dream. Just eight years later most of the Olympic sites were destroyed during the civil war. Dan completes his journey in a little known Swiss village of Mürren where the blue riband event of the Winter Olympics, Alpine skiing, was first organised by a British man, Arnold Lunn. Did the British really invent the Winter Olympics? Not quite, but it is true that the British played and extraordinary role.

The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable. But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall. This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.

2014x22 These Four Walls

  • 2014-02-02T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Five stories of aspiration against a background of poverty and austerity. With the aim of finding the real people behind familiar media stereotypes, documentary-maker Peter Gordon travels through Yorkshire and talks to some of those struggling through hard times. Fran and her daughter Niamh live in one of the most deprived parts of Leeds in a house whose fabric is falling apart. Niamh, without telling her mother, applied for entry to an exclusive fee-paying school, one she has always dreamed of attending. She won a bursary. This is her way out of a life with no future and Fran, who suffers from epilepsy, recognises this and fully supports her, but at great personal cost. Their struggle is felt every day, but the way they talk about themselves and their situation is heartfelt, perceptive and amusing. A mile or so up the road on another estate lives Charlotte, a young single parent with two small children, who talks about her early ambitions and present frustration. She feels isolated and trapped, but looks ahead and plans for the future. Charlotte is determined to succeed as a working mother. In Sheffield there is a lunch club where the elderly can go for an hour or two for a meal and some company - small reward for a life of hard physical labour. In the north east an angry and unemployed 22-year-old yearns for a job, security and a family life, while in well-heeled York a young couple with two small children live in a cramped and overcrowded flat, all sleeping in one damp bedroom with fungus on the ceiling. These are the real voices of the disadvantaged, the excluded or the marginalised who, between the four walls of their homes, dream, hope and plan for a better future.

2014x23 Sound City

  • 2014-01-31T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary produced and directed by rock superstar Dave Grohl (who also appears in the film) in which he uncovers stories about the Los Angeles studio Sound City, where some of the greatest rock albums of all time were perfected and recorded. Sound City was state of the art when it opened in 1969, featuring a legendary Neve recording console. Through interviews with the musicians and producers who have worked at the studio over the years, the film uncovers and defines the intangible magic within those wires and walls that was responsible for such an incredible history of contemporary music. For over four decades, it was the birthplace of some of the world's most treasured music, including Nirvana's Nevermind, Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedoes, Fleetwood Mac's eponymous album and Johnny Cash's Unchained, to name just a few. Grohl discovers the stories of the iconic bands that recorded there. We learn how Mick Fleetwood met Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham at Sound City, leading to them joining Fleetwood Mac, and discover why musicians and producers such as Butch Vig, Frank Black, Trent Reznor and Lars Ulrich all chose to work in its analogue environment over newer, more state-of-the-art studios. Grohl also tracks the growth of digital music and the inevitable death of analogue recording, which changed the industry and Sound City forever. The story of Sound City is an integral part of the personal story of Dave Grohl, whose music was forever influenced by those who once recorded in Studio A and left their mark in the form of the many platinum records hanging on the walls within. He completes the film by bringing some of the great names together at his Studio 606 to record a new album on the original Sound City Neve console, culminating in new performances from Rick Springfield, Stevie Nicks, Lee Ving, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Krist Novoselic and Sir Paul McCartney. Featuring contributions from Neil Young, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Rick Rubin, Mick Fleetwood, Lars Ulrich, John Fogerty, Jim Keltner, Rick Springfield, Josh Homme, Frank Black, Barry Manilow, Lindsey Buckingham, Lee Ving, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic.

The definitive documentary record of one of Jimi Hendrix's most celebrated performances, now digitally remastered and featuring footage never seen on television before. It includes such signature songs as Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return) and his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, as well as interviews with Woodstock promoter Michael Lang and Hendrix band members Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Larry Lee and Juma Sultan among others.

On 14 February 1984, two ice skaters achieved perfection and Olympic gold. This is the story of that day.

2014x26 Neil Sedaka: King of Song

  • 2014-02-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Neil Sedaka is one of the most successful American singer-songwriters of the last century. A classically-trained musician, he won a scholarship to the Julliard School at the age of nine and four years later he embarked on a writing career that would see him create some of the most perfect pop songs of all time. Throughout his career, he wrote, recorded and sang a litany of instantly recognisable and memorable tunes, as well as delivering a string of hits as a songwriter for other artists. This documentary portrait film tells the story of Neil Sedaka's life and career, in which he had two distinct periods of success. Between 1958 and 1963 he sold over 25 million records, but then his career nose-dived after the Beatles and the British Invasion hit the USA. Leaving his homeland, he found success in the UK in the early 1970s and relaunched his career before returning to the US and achieving new stardom with songs like Solitaire and Laughter in the Rain. Neil gives great insight into how he created catchy classics like Calendar Girl, (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Stupid Cupid, amongst many others.

2014x27 Mystery of the Moor

  • 2014-02-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Mike Dilger investigates the mystery behind bronze age burial goods discovered on Dartmoor. They've been described as the most important find ever on the moor and give vital new clues about how our ancestors lived 4,000 years ago.

Dr Michael Mosley explores the bizarre and fascinating world of parasites by turning his body into a living laboratory and deliberately infesting himself with them. He travels to Kenya to give himself tapeworm - a parasite that can grow to many metres inside the human gut. He also encounters lice, leeches and the deadly malaria parasite, before swallowing a pill-camera to reveal what's growing within him. By the end of his infestation Michael learns a new-found respect for these extraordinary creatures, which can live off and even take control of their hosts for their own survival.

2014x29 The Truth about Webcam Girls

  • 2014-02-19T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

All over the country, thousands of women from 18 to 80 are signing up to work as online webcam models. For the girls it's the promise of easy money - the most successful models charge over £5 a minute and can make hundreds of pounds a day, all from the comfort of their own bedrooms. For the hundreds of thousands of men who have signed up, it means easy, one-on-one access to their favourite fantasy girl. This film looks into the secretive world of adult webcamming and meets three online performers to find out what it's really like baring all, online, for strangers all over the world. 25-year-old ex-pornstar Sammie has starred in over 100 adult movies, but her experiences in the industry have left her emotionally scarred. She's desperate to leave a troubled past behind and hopes that she can make enough money on the webcam to return to college. 24-year-old pornstar Carla is open-minded and up for trying most things on the webcam. Life as a webcam model may have taught her a lot about men and their secret desires, but it's making it tough for her to meet the right man. Ambitious 21-year-old glamour model Olivia thinks webcamming can boost her career. Unlike other webcam models she won't go fully nude, but with competition fierce, just how far will she have go to achieve her success?

2014x30 Is Amanda Knox Guilty

  • 2014-02-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A 21-year-old female student from the University of Leeds is stabbed to death in the picture postcard town of Perugia, Italy. After the horrific discovery, the search began for the murderer of Meredith Kercher. Now, an Italian Judge has found guilty Amanda Knox, an exchange student from the United States, and her Italian boyfriend. But Amanda Knox has gone on American breakfast television to say the judgement is wrong. Guilty or innocent? In the first TV documentary since the verdict, a team who have followed the case from the very first day present the evidence for and against Amanda Knox.

These days, opinionated journalists are two a penny. But back in the 1950s, Ian Nairn was part of a new breed of Angry Young Men. Aged just 25 and fresh out of the RAF, he burst onto the architectural scene with Outrage, a blistering attack on the soulless destruction of Britain by shoddy post-war planners. Published in the influential Architectural Review in June 1955, it led to the formation of the Civic Trust, whose remit was to tackle the 'subtopian' eyesores Nairn had so graphically exposed. Over the next two decades, Nairn became a tireless and passionate campaigner, both in print and on the BBC, inspiring a whole generation to take up arms against the second rate in our towns and cities. But he himself was a deeply flawed and troubled character, who slowly drank himself to death, feeling the battle to save Britain's soul had been lost. Close colleagues and admirers, including Jonathan Meades, Gillian Darley and Jonathan Glancey, pay tribute to a remarkable man who made us look afresh at the world around us.

2014x32 BB King - The Life of Riley

  • 2014-02-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

BB King opens his heart and tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to influence and earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry and its following to carry the title of king of the blues. Filmed on location all over America, as well as in the UK, this picture brings to life the heat- and gin-soaked plantations where it all began, with full cooperation of the BB King museum, owners of vaults and archives so precious and immense that several trips had to be made to revisit the collection and partake of its many gems. Prejudice and segregation has stained the lives of countless black persons and BB 'Riley' King made sure that through his music, he never allowed it to mar his spirit. This is the essence of the story that makes a beautiful film, both informative and visually captivating.

2014x33 The Necessary War

  • 2014-02-25T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In a documentary to mark the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Sir Max Hastings argues that although the war was a great tragedy, it was far from being futile.

Hormones shape each and every one of us, affecting almost every aspect of our lives - our height, our weight, our appetites, how we grow and reproduce, and even how we behave and feel. This documentary tells the wonderful and often weird story of how hormones were discovered. Presenter John Wass, one the country's leading experts on hormones, relates some amazing stories - how as recently as the 19th century boys were castrated to keep their pure soprano voice, how juices were extracted from testicles in the hope they would rejuvenate old men and how true medical heroes like Frederick Banting discovered a way to make insulin, thus saving the lives of countless diabetes sufferers. And hormones remain at the cutting edge of medicine as we try and deal with modern scourges like obesity.

Documentary about the development of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The 747 was a game changer; the airliner that revolutionised mass, cheap air travel. But the first, wide-bodied plane was (originally) intended as a stopgap to Boeing's now-abandoned supersonic jet. This is the remarkable, untold story of the jumbo, a billion-dollar gamble that pushed 1960s technology to the limits to create the world's most recognisable plane.

2014x36 The Pity of War

  • 2014-02-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Was the Great War a great mistake? In this innovative programme, Harvard historian Professor Niall Ferguson offers a different perspective on the First World War and argues that Britain's decision to enter the war was a tragic mistake. The First World War was one of the great turning points of modern history. We know where the war started: in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, when a Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip murdered the heir to the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy. But how and why did this crisis in the Balkans escalate into a bloody global conflagration? Did Britain really have to fight a war against Germany? Niall Ferguson links cutting-edge graphics and short illustrative stories to place the First World War into the context of human history. He then argues that much of the responsibility for the scale of the conflict lies with the British and suggests that Britain's decision to enter the war in 1914 was not merely tragic for those who lost their lives, it was also a catastrophic error that unleashed an era of totalitarianism and genocide around the world. At the same time, the war revealed a fundamental truth about humankind's propensity for violence. At the end of the programme these contentious issues are debated by leading WW1 experts and the studio audience.

2014x37 Darcey's Ballerina Heroines

  • 2014-03-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

As courtesans, fashion icons, political pawns and international celebrities, the great ballerinas have played a multitude of roles both on and off the stage. They have moved from the courts of kings to stages around the globe, from the highs of public adoration to the lows of injury and scandal. But few people know the full story. British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell spent two decades at the top, performing all the great roles in the classical repertoire and becoming one of ballet's most famous faces. She explores the changing role of the ballerina. Journeying from 18th-century France to 1950s America, she examines the challenges that her predecessors encountered, discovers the women who broke the rules and reveals what it takes to be one of the greats. A feast for the senses, Darcey's Ballerina Heroines is an authoritative history of the best ballets and the finest ballerinas.

2014x38 How China Fooled The World

  • 2014-02-18T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Robert Peston travels to China to investigate how this mighty economic giant could actually be in trouble. China is now the second largest economy in the world and for the last 30 years China's economy has been growing at an astonishing rate. While Britain has been in the grip of the worst recession in a generation, China's economic miracle has wowed the world. Now, for BBC Two's award-winning strand This World, Peston reveals what has actually happened inside China since the economic collapse in the west in 2008. It is a story of spending and investment on a scale never seen before in human history.

In a never-before-attempted sleep experiment, Bristol Zoo has been rigged with cameras and sensors and Liz Bonnin and sleep expert Bryson Voirin stay up all night to see what the animals get up to when they think no-one is watching. From red pandas and lions to meerkats and tapirs, for the first time a whole range of animal sleep behaviours is compared and contrasted across the course of a single night. The programme delves into the extraordinary world of animal sleep, looking at not only what science has already discovered, but the questions which remain to be answered. From dolphins, which have come up with ingenious solutions to allow them to sleep while swimming, to ants which have developed complex behavioural patterns which ensure that the colony sleeps undisturbed, and meerkats, which keep an ear open for danger during sleep, and flamingos, which arrange themselves in order to keep a wary eye out for night-time predators.

2014x40 The Great Glass Mystery

  • 2014-03-02T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dr Jonathan Foyle examines the mysterious wartime disappearance of stained glass from Coventry Cathedral. He investigates rumours the windows were stolen and sold on the black market. But, more than 70 years on, could the truth embarrass reputations both at home and abroad?

David Bintley, director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet explores how the Second World War was the making of British ballet and how fundamental the years of hardship and adversity were in getting the British public to embrace ballet. Bintley shows how the then Sadler's Wells Ballet Company, led by Ninette de Valois and featuring a star-studded generation of British dancers and choreographers including Margot Fonteyn and Frederick Ashton, was forged during the Second World War. It's the story of how de Valois and her small company of dancers took what was essentially a foreign art-form and made it British despite the falling bombs, the rationing and the call-up. Plus it is the story of how Britain, as a nation, fell in love with ballet. Using rare and previously unseen footage, plus interviews with dance icons such as Dame Gillian Lynne and Dame Beryl Grey, Bintley shows how the Sadler's Wells Ballet company survived an encounter with Nazi forces in Holland, dancing whilst the bombs were falling in the Blitz, rationing and a punishing touring schedule to bring ballet to the British people as an antidote to the austerity the country faced to emerge post-war as The Royal Ballet.

Prima ballerina Darcey Bussell talks about her life at the top. From tears at ballet school and forgetting the steps, to becoming the Royal Ballet's youngest-ever principal and her favourite roles, Darcey recalls her performing career from its earliest days.

It's now 30 years since the epic struggle between the miners and a Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher, a strike that lasted a bitter twelve months. Former Labour government minister Kim Howells was involved at the heart of the action, working for the National Union of Mineworkers in South Wales. In this deeply-felt memoir, he asks some challenging questions about the conduct, the strategy and the outcomes of the strike.

Tamara Rojo, world-famous ballerina and artistic director of English National Ballet, takes us backstage as she prepares for one of classical ballet's biggest challenges, the dual lead in Swan Lake. It is the ultimate role for any dancer, requiring her to play the completely contrasting characters - Odette the White Swan and Odile the Black Swan. With unprecedented access, the disarmingly candid Rojo reveals her insights on the role's physical and psychological challenges. Through demonstration and masterclass, she reveals how to read the choreography of some of Swan Lake's most famous scenes. Along the way Rojo gives us a glimpse of Swan Lake's history - its genesis through to 21st-century incarnations. She looks back at some of the greats that inspired her and leads the way forward, coaching the next generation of rising stars. This film celebrates Swan Lake as an evolving and living work of art - the ultimate classic.

David Dimbleby looks back at events in Westminster Abbey, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu, David Cameron and the Soweto Gospel Choir joined together in a powerful and moving service to celebrate the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.

The English Defence League has gained notoriety as the far-right street movement with racist and extremist members whose protests often end in violence. Many of its members feel misunderstood and misrepresented by the media. This film explores the lives of some of the females living within the EDL's ranks. After the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013, the EDL's ranks multiplied five times and a growing number joining the largely male group were women - they are known as EDL Angels. This film follows a committed Angel, a new member and a teenager trying to decide whether to join, over six tumultuous months, charting the impact of EDL leader Tommy Robinson's departure as well as unearthing their views and fears, and shining a light on what members of the EDL believe and why. Gail, 41, is the regional EDL leader for Yorkshire and one of the founding EDL Angels. The film follows her through the court case of the men accused of attacking her, leaving her jaw broken in seven places, and explores how her EDL beliefs have impacted on her life and family. Amanda is an 18-year-old new recruit from Yorkshire. From her first introduction to the EDL to her nervous debut at a demonstration, she speaks of the fear of Muslim extremists that has made her turn to the EDL. The programme follows her journey to understand the EDL's principles as well as the mixed reception she gets from friends about her new political interests. Katie, 16, from Reading is from a large extended family of staunch EDL supporters, including her mum and two sisters. Katie, however, struggles to make up her mind up about whether she wants to be part of their campaigning or if she's even prepared to tell her new college mates about her family's passion.

2014x47 Photographing Africa

  • 2014-03-10T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Photographer and film director Harry Hook, who grew up in the Sudan and Kenya and has been documenting life in Africa for 40 years, uses his images to tell a personal story as he crosses the continent to visit remote tribal groups. Harry tracks down five Samburu women he first photographed in Kenya 30 years ago. His aim is to give them a copy of their portrait and discover how their lives have changed over three decades. The search will be no small task - Samburuland covers an area the size of Wales and, as a semi-nomadic group, the women may well have moved great distances. During his search Harry witnesses a Lenkarna Lmuget, a once-in-a-decade coming-of-age ceremony for Samburu warriors, as they are initiated to become elders. There are not many parts of Africa where the lure of the city life is not felt. Harry ventures to isolated communities and encounters people living with one foot rooted in a rich cultural past, but who also embrace the here and now of contemporary Africa.

In the early 1960s, the BBC interviewed 280 eyewitnesses of the First World War for the series, The Great War. Using never-before-seen footage from these interviews, this film illuminates the poignant human experience of the war, through the eyes of those who survived it.

Bob Dylan described Missouri-born country boy Gene Clark as one of the three best songwriters in the world. He was the original frontman for one of the most iconic and influential bands of the 60s. After his abrupt departure from the Byrds at the peak of their popularity, he made records that are still regarded as classics. And he was one of the great pioneers of both folk rock and country rock. Yet, as far as the public is concerned, Clark is largely unknown and his reputation lags far behind that of peers such as Gram Parsons. Since his death in 1991 at the age of 46, his songs have been covered by artists ranging from Robert Plant to Yo La Tengo and he has been hailed as a key influence by successive generations of musicians such as Tom Petty, Primal Scream and Fleet Foxes, despite some of his albums having been unavailable for long periods and only now all in print again. This documentary explores the mystery of why this richly talented but deeply enigmatic and often self-destructive man failed to enjoy the success his work deserved. Drawing on interviews with his family, friends and fellow musicians including fellow Byrds David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, a wealth of great music from the four-decade span of his career and previously unseen archive material, it is a story that is both compelling and moving, veering between moments of magic and moments of madness. The film was made by a father and sons team - Paul, Jack and Dan Kendall - as a labour of love which took them right across America in search of the people and places that were part of Gene Clark's life.

2014x50 Helmut by June

  • 2014-03-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Photographer Helmut Newton revolutionised fashion photography and electrified the art world with disturbing, highly eroticised images that transformed lush-bodied women into exquisite icons. This film, directed by Newton's frequent collaborator and wife of 56 years, June Newton, follows Helmut through photo sessions with an unselfconscious eye, as June turns the tables on Helmut to offer a voyeur's window into his personal and creative life. Poignant, comical and unsettling, it paints a riveting portrait of photography's dark prince as a man who is equally comfortable on either side of the camera.

Documentary telling the extraordinary untold story of soldiers' photography in the First World War. The British and German soldiers marched off to war with secret 'vest pocket' cameras, determined to record what they thought would be a great adventure, but few were prepared for the horrors they were about to witness and photograph. Their photos - many never seen before in public - provide a deeply moving document of their lives in the trenches and their rapid loss of innocence. With no soldier photographer alive to tell the tale, we join their close relatives on emotional journeys of discovery as they go in search of the secrets hidden within their ancestors' photographs. This is the war viewed from a new and surprising perspective - through the eyes of the men who fought in it.

From torn-out tongues to modern-day internet trolls, professor Mary Beard shares her belief that women's voices have been silenced throughout history, using examples ranging from the writings of Henry James to Homer's Odyssey and threatening posts on social media.

2014x53 The End of the Pier Show

  • 2014-02-07T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

When Hastings Pier burnt down in 2010 many thought that was the end of Britain's first purpose-built pleasure pier. In a celebration of the golden age of the British seaside pier, we follow the local campaign to save her. Can she rise from the ashes and reinvent herself?

Prostitution in Britain is thriving, revolutionised by the internet and serviced by an estimated 100,000 sex workers. Billie JD Porter goes in search of the human face of the prostitution business, talking to the young men who routinely pay for sex about why they do it, and to the young women who sell their bodies about what's in it for them.

Obituary film of the lifelong Labour politician, Tony Benn, who was an MP for over 50 years. Born the son of a viscount, Benn was elected Labour MP for Bristol South East at the age of 25, and in his political career became a champion of the working class. After his father's death, Benn inherited the title of viscount, but he turned it down and with it a seat in the House of Lords, campaigning to change the Peerage Act, so that he could continue as an MP. Benn went onto serve as postmaster general and held cabinet posts as minister of industry and minister of energy under Harold Wilson. In 1981, he narrowly lost an election for Labour's deputy leadership to Dennis Healey. In 2001, Benn stepped down from the Commons in order to 'spend more time with politics'. He was president of Stop the War, campaigned against coalition cuts and ultimately became, in many people's eyes, a national treasure.

2014x56 Insane Fight Club

  • 2014-03-11T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A group of friends have created a brand new subculture that is taking over the streets of Glasgow. They've established their very own fight club, but this is no ordinary wrestling event - this is brutal, riotous chaos. Fights don't always stay inside the ring, people are bounced off the side of buses and thrown off balconies in pubs. They now plan the biggest show of their lives. The stakes are high, will it bring them the fame and recognition they need to survive?

Stanley Spencer's Shipbuilding on the Clyde is one of the most astonishing - and least likely - achievements in British art. These colossal portraits of shipyard life were created by a painter best known for his intense, spiritual visions of the English countryside. WWII uprooted Spencer and sent him to Scotland. But the harsh industrial landscape of Port Glasgow inspired an astonishing vision - and revived Spencer's creative passion. Artist Lachlan Goudie - who himself has been painting in the last of the Clyde shipyards - goes in search of his hero, tracking down the original designs for Spencer's ambitious scheme, meeting the shipyard foreman who helped the eccentric Englishman with his work, and revealing how one of the 20th century's greatest artworks began as a doodle on a roll of cheap toilet paper!

Professor Bruce Denardo attempts to prove whether there is any truth behind the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, where many ships and planes have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. New investigation techniques reveal the truth behind the infamous disappearance of Flight 19. Graham Hawkes is also able to reveal, by using a state-of-the-art submarine, how five wrecks mysteriously wound up 730 feet down in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.

2014x59 TB: Return of the Plague

  • 2014-03-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In the southern African nation of Swaziland, around a quarter of all adults are now HIV positive. With so many now living with compromised immune systems, tuberculosis, which had been in decline for decades, has made a dramatic comeback. Now it has a foothold once more, new mutations are evolving fast, meaning the disease threatens the lives of the healthy as well as those with HIV. There are over eight million new infections every year worldwide, but Swaziland is the epicentre of the disease, with the highest rate of TB infection in the world. With the infection spreading with a cough or sneeze, international travel means these lethal new infections are already starting to appear in Europe - last year alone 3,500 Londoners were diagnosed with the disease. Multi-BAFTA winning film-maker Jezza Neumann travelled to Swaziland to make this very intimate account of the crippling effects of MDR-TB. We witness victims from two families battle with the disease over the course of a year. Deep in rural Swaziland near the border of South Africa lives Bheki, a builder who is fanatical about football, who recently learnt that both he and his sister have multi drug resistant TB. As time passes, his sister's condition deteriorates and Bheki starts to become increasingly anxious about his future. In the capital, Mbabane, lives 12-year-old Nokubegha, a TB orphan, who is cared for by her 17-year-old brother, Melusi. When Nokubegha is diagnosed with the MDR strain of the disease she has to be admitted into the national TB hospital so she can receive her daily pills and injections. A tragic yet heart-warming story about the value of human life, love and family.

2014x60 The School that Rocks

  • 2014-03-19T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The world is full of wannabe pop stars, but not everyone wants to gamble on a talent show to make it. With exclusive access to Britain's renowned Academy of Contemporary Music, this rockumentary follows students over the first term of the academic year as they follow their dream of making it big in the hard-to-break music business. First-year gospel singer Henrietta wants to be a chart-topping superstar, but struggles to shine in a class of talented vocalists. 19-year-old Ella is striving to develop her own musical style and stand out from the crowd. Trainee producer James has returned to college after being burnt by the music industry and, for hotly tipped college band Massmatiks, this year is all about getting their first record deal. With all the emotion, triumphs and disappointments, learning to rock is harder than it seems.

Documentary telling the inside story of Davina McCall's challenge to raise money for Sport Relief, with exclusive behind the scenes access. The film follows Davina through highs and lows as she swims, cycles and runs from Edinburgh to London - 500 miles in 7 days. Davina's husband, her parents and best friend provide a unique insight into Davina's battle to overcome the toughest Sport Relief challenge yet. Spending 17 hours on the bike on the first day alone, Davina fights extreme fatigue and fearsome weather conditions. And on day three Davina faces her biggest personal challenge - an open water swim across Lake Windermere. The dramatic scenes of Davina being carried out of the water became headline news. This film shows the behind the scenes preparation and aftermath, as Davina recovers and is able to get back on the bike an hour later. Taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK - from the highest peak, Scafell Pike, to the Pennine Way and the Windsor Long Walk - this is the true story of one woman's triumph and determination to raise much-needed money for causes so close to her heart.

2014x62 I Know Where I'm Going

  • 2014-03-23T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Programme made for the 50th anniversary of classic movie I Know Where I'm Going by maverick film-making duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, set on a Hebridean island and starring Dame Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey.

2014x63 Martin Amis's England

  • 2014-03-24T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Novelist Martin Amis, a fierce critic of contemporary society, examines his experience of Englishness. Richly illustrated with archive footage, he reflects on a nation barely recovered from the loss of empire. Amis brings a sharp, humorous and surprisingly affectionate touch to the exploration of sex, binge drinking, football hooliganism, the idea of fair play, multiculturalism, the royal family and the tabloid press.

2014x64 Jimmy Ellis - An Actor's Life

  • 2014-03-24T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

This 60 min documentary traces the life of the late James Ellis, one of Northern Ireland's best-loved sons. He is renowned for his work in the hugely successful series 'Z Cars' and Graham Reid's 'Billy' Trilogy. Jimmy, as he was known to his friends, is held in the highest esteem by fellow actors many of whom have been interviewed for this programme. He is described by one contributor as 'acting royalty' and was widely seen as the unofficial ambassador for Northern Ireland through the many roles in which he championed the Ulster accent. A younger audience will remember him with affection from 'Ballykissangel' and 'Playing the Field' but viewers will perhaps be surprised to learn of the breadth of his abilities as a prolific writer, poet and translator. This is an affectionate portrait of a well-known figure.

In the summer of 1914, a company of Cameron Highlanders left Portree and sailed off to war. On the battlefields of France, these raw recruits would meet the Maxim machine gun - invented in London, and capable of firing a hellish 666 rounds per minute. The German army deployed these weapons with mathematical efficiency. Neil Oliver examines the development of these ruthless, impersonal weapons, and the legacy they left on one Hebridean community.

The fascinating story of knighthood, told through the extraordinary life and times of William Marshal, whom many consider the world's greatest knight. From Europe's medieval castles to the holy city of Jerusalem, presenter Thomas Asbridge explores William's incredible life, revealing a rip-roaring adventure story in the spirit of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. In a career that spanned half a century, this English soldier and statesman served some of Christendom's greatest leaders, from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart. Marshal fought in battles across Europe, survived court intrigue and exile, put his seal to the Magna Carta and proved to be the best friend a king could have, remaining loyal to those he served through disaster and victory. Then at the age of 70, despite all the odds, he saved England from a French invasion.

2014x67 Glasgow Big Night Out

  • 2014-01-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

An affectionate portrait of Glasgow's rich entertainment history, featuring interviews with the stars who braved some of the toughest venues in showbusiness, alongside footage of classic performances and archive of a city that has played host to everyone from Laurel & Hardy to The Beatles.

2014x68 Joanna Lumley Meets will.i.am

  • 2014-03-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Joanna Lumley is on a mission to get to know the elusive, slightly eccentric front man of the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am. She travels to Los Angeles to spend time with The Voice judge, music performer, producer, and social entrepreneur in his home town. Over dinner with the family she bonds with his mother, who takes her through Will's childhood. Joanna learns how the boy who could not keep still made it out of his tough neighbourhood to achieve global success, and is now able to count President Obama as a friend. She gets to discover the real will.i.am, fascinated with creating the future and eager to give back. She is swept up in his hectic world but finally manages to get to the heart of what makes him tick.

Interviews and rare archive footage weave together performances from a landmark multi-artist concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, celebrating the songs and artistry of the great folk-blues troubadour Bert Jansch. Ralph McTell, Robert Plant, Donovan, members of Pentangle, Bernard Butler, Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Lisa Knapp and more pay tribute to Jansch, who died in 2011. There's also a real coup with an extraordinary performance by Neil Young of Jansch's haunting Needle of Death, filmed at Jack White's Nashville studio especially for the occasion. Robert Plant shows his vocal prowess with a powerful rendition of Go Your Way My Love, joined by Jansch collaborator Bernard Butler. Martin Simpson and Danny Thompson surprise with a version of Heartbreak Hotel, a track covered by Jansch. Ralph McTell tackles the seminal Angie and Lisa Knapp and Martin Carthy combine for Blackwaterside - Jansch's arrangement of which heavily influenced Led Zep's Black Mountain Side.

The brutal use of British prisoners of war by the Japanese to build a railway linking Thailand to Burma in 1943 was one of the worst atrocities of the Second World War. For the first time in 70 years, British POWs and their Japanese captors, many now in their nineties, open their hearts to tell the story of what really happened on the 'Death Railway'. Alongside the extraordinary experiences and stories of survival told by the British, their Japanese guards tell of different horrors of war, some never disclosed before. Exploring how they have survived the terrible memories, this is an often inspiring story that many of these men have waited a long time to tell. What emerges is a warm and emotional journey through the lives of men from different sides reflecting on a terrible event that still haunts them.

2014x72 Who Murdered Maxine?

  • 2014-04-03T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Following the campaign of the family of one of the victims to try and discover who was responsible for blowing up two Birmingham pubs on the same night almost 40 years ago.

Alexander Armstrong explores the literature that inspired Michael Palin and Terry Jones's classic TV comedy Ripping Yarns, a loving parody of the Boys' Own books and magazines of their childhood. Featuring clips from Ripping Yarns, archive and interviews with experts, modern-day adventurers and Palin and Jones's own memories.

A documentary examining Margaret Thatcher's strategy of dealing with the IRA, revealing a complex picture of a woman, fiercely combative in public, yet behind the scenes, was secretly dealing with those who tried to kill her.

2014x75 Banged up and Left to Fail?

  • 2014-04-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Natalie seems like any other university student on her Policing, Investigation and Criminology degree, but she has more experience than most. From the age of 13, she was repeatedly in and out of the criminal justice system. It took Natalie nine years to stop offending and she believes it was support from outside - rather than inside the prison system - that helped her change. Natalie's story isn't unique. Nearly 60 per cent of all offenders on a short sentence will commit further crimes within a year of release from prison. In this documentary, Natalie explores the impact being locked up has had on young adult offenders like Sephton, who spent most of his adolescence in prison and now struggles with basic tasks such as food shopping and cooking a meal. She also meets those in charge, such as Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation, Jeremy Wright, to find out what the government are doing to tackle our high re-offending rates.

A tale of skulduggery, dirty tricks and strong coffee in the cut-throat world that marked the dawn of breakfast television. Narrated by Peter Snow.

Because it's not grand, the story of the suburban garden has barely been told - and yet 8 out of 10 people in England live in the suburbs. In this documentary, writer and historian Michael Collins delivers a riposte to the urban intelligentsia which has spent a century sneering at the suburbs. His south London pilgrimage takes him to Bexley and Bromley, Surbiton and the new promised land of Bluewater in Kent to explore what the suburban garden has meant to us and to celebrate what one contributor calls 'their little piece of heaven'. George Orwell famously laid out the icons of English culture as 'solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and... red pillarboxes' and Collins shows that the suburban garden very much deserves a place in that canon. South Londoner Collins previously charted the history of the white working class in his controversial book The Likes of Us and explored the rise and fall of the council house in BBC Four's The Great Estate. He tends to admire what critics of suburbia have loathed - its lack of history, the mock and ersatz style of its homes and gardens, and the suggestion that it is a 'nowhere place', neither town nor country but stranded in between. Collins's journey starts a century ago in Hampstead Garden Suburb, a planned utopia that transformed the lives of its residents fleeing urban squalor, but one that came with off-putting regulations - maximum hedge size, a designated wash-day, and no pub. Suburban sprawl between the wars, when three million new homes were built, couldn't have been more different. 'You could', recalls one contributor from Welling, 'buy a house for 12/6 down and pay 7/6 a week on the mortgage, and suddenly you had a two-up/two-down, front garden/back garden. Those were the days!' In the 1930s, Wills cashed in on the suburban gardening craze with 50 cigarette cards offering handy tips. But this was also the era that identified a new condition - suburban neurosis. When war broke out, Rita Withers's dad, a veteran of the Somme, was so traumatised he dug a trench right across their lawn, thinking it the only way to protect his family. Wartime 'Dig for Victory', launched by the BBC's first horticultural expert, Mr Middleton, saw flowers sacrificed for vegetables and the war effort. The Peace Rose ushered in the post-war garden, and contributors fondly remember the ubiquitous swing of the 1950s and 60s, the equally ubiquitous tortoise and the shock of the new as suburbia's new mecca, the garden centre, transformed the 70s garden. This was the era of The Good Life, but a Surbiton couple, the Howes, whose immaculate garden would have impressed Margot and Jerry, are keen to point out the series was actually shot in north London 'because Surbiton was not sufficiently like Surbiton to be worth filming... a kind of oblique compliment.' Collins's suburban odyssey ends in the spanking new 21st century purpose-built suburb of Ingress Park in Kent, a dormitory for Europe's biggest mall, Bluewater. Karen Roberts may have bought her astroturf lawn for £700 on the internet, but the appeal of the suburban garden is timeless. 'Ingress Park is dope', she explains. 'I live the dream I haven't got a lot of money to spend, but I can go snip, snip, I'm doing my garden, I love it.'.

Marine 'A': Criminal or Casualty of War? - Alexander Blackman, a Royal Marine sergeant, was convicted and jailed for life for shooting an injured Afghan insurgent on the front line. Some condemn him as a war criminal, while others claim he is a casualty of war. The nation is divided. Now the shamed marine, dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines, is launching an appeal from his prison cell - not only against the sentence but the murder conviction itself. Blackman is the first British serviceman to be found guilty of murder during combat since WWII. This one-off documentary, made by award-winning filmmaker Chris Terrill, who has himself witnessed the horrors of the Afghan conflict looks into Blackman's case. Terrill asks questions about the ethics of combat and rules of engagement in war and the mind-bending nature of active duty on the front line. As well as an exclusive interview with Blackman's wife Claire, Terrill speaks to those that condemn Blackman's actions and those that condone them, those that revile him as a killer and even those that revere him as a hero.

2014x79 The School that Rocks

  • 2014-04-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The world is full of wannabe pop stars, but not everyone wants to gamble on a talent show to make it. With exclusive access to Britain's renowned Academy of Contemporary Music, this rockumentary follows students over the first term of the academic year as they follow their dream of making it big in the hard-to-break music business. First-year gospel singer Henrietta wants to be a chart-topping superstar, but struggles to shine in a class of talented vocalists. 19-year-old Ella is striving to develop her own musical style and stand out from the crowd. Trainee producer James has returned to college after being burnt by the music industry and, for hotly tipped college band Massmatiks, this year is all about getting their first record deal. With all the emotion, triumphs and disappointments, learning to rock is harder than it seems.

2014x80 Sharon: Israel's Iron Man

  • 2014-01-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

An obituary of the Israeli military and political leader Ariel Sharon. The film tells the story of his life and how it intersected with all the major moments in Israel's history.

2014x81 Porn: What's the Harm?

  • 2014-04-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Jameela Jamil finds out if it's true that children are being exposed to more pornography than ever before - and what the effects of that might be. With smartphones and tablets making it easier than ever to get hold of the most explicit images, there are fears that each generation is seeing porn earlier than the one before, so Jameela meets teenagers across the country to hear from them what impact it has had on their attitudes and behaviour. With an exclusive survey, the biggest of its kind, revealing the truth about how much porn kids really see, she also talks to those behind some of the mostly commonly viewed material, including one of Britain's best known porn stars and rap artist Skepta, to see if they are worried about who's watching. She visits a family whose eight-year-old son was unexpectedly exposed to hardcore porn and, as she hears how it has directly affected people's lives, Jameela asks if teaching children about porn could be the answer - and if so, at what age that should start.

2014x82 Life and Death on the A9

  • 2014-03-06T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

With access to Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and businesses like House of Bruar this one-hour documentary reveals a surprising view of the notorious A9, as we follow the people who keep the road moving, find out what happens when accidents close off the route and explore the future for Scotland's iconic road.

2014x83 The People's Portrait

  • 2014-04-13T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Fiona Bruce follows Falklands War hero Simon Weston over three months, as he becomes the first person chosen by the public to be painted for the National Portrait Gallery. Weston is painted by Nicky Philipps, best known for her portrait of the royal princes. As the painting takes shape, Weston's moving life story is revealed, from his battle for survival and struggle with depression to his becoming an inspirational role model and national treasure. Weston chooses not to view the work in progress, instead waiting for the big unveiling. But will be like how he is portrayed for posterity?

2014x84 Can Criminals Say Sorry?

  • 2014-04-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Brooke Kinsella, former EastEnders star and anti-knife crime campaigner, explores the use of restorative justice in Britain today and finds out what happens when offenders and their victims are brought together face to face. With the government now making millions available for restorative justice - across offences ranging from anti-social behaviour to murder - Brooke considers whether it's an effective way of dealing with offenders and whether it can meet the needs of victims.

Documentary featuring the work of stop-motion camera and special effects guru Ray Harryhausen. Including clips from Jason and the Argonauts and contributions from Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Peter Lord, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, Rick Baker, John Landis, Ken Ralston, Guillermo Del Toro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.

For billions of years our planet was devoid of life, but something transformed it into a vibrant, living planet. That something was soil. It's a much-misunderstood substance, often dismissed as 'dirt', something to be avoided. Yet the crops we eat, the animals we rely on, the very oxygen we breathe, all depend on the existence of the plant life that bursts from the soil every year. In this film, gardening expert Chris Beardshaw explores where soil comes from, what it's made of and what makes it so essential to life. Using specialist microphotography, he reveals it as we've never seen it before - an intricate microscopic landscape, teeming with strange and wonderful life-forms. It's a world where the chaos of life meets the permanence of rock, the two interacting with each other to make a living system of staggering complexity that sustains all life on Earth. Chris explores how man is challenging this most precious resource on our planet and how new science is seeking to preserve it.

2014x87 World War One At Home

  • 2014-03-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Stories from the Home Front 1914-1918 - a special programme to launch a unique partnership between the BBC and Imperial War Museums. Robert Hall presents.

2014x88 The Great North Passion

  • 2014-04-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Thousands gather in Bent's Park, South Shields on Good Friday for BBC One's extraordinary spectacle, The Great North Passion. The one-hour live event and broadcast reveals a giant iconic installation in the shape of a cross and is a unique and innovative retelling of the story of the Passion. Fern Britton and singer Alexandra Burke join local community participants, ranging from dancers and graffiti artists to a massed choir, to tell the story of the last moments of Christ's life, from his trial and suffering to his eventual death. Twelve artists have created new contemporary work with local communities across the north east of England, inspired by the stations of the cross. Housed in shipping containers, they will be joined together to form a giant iconic installation in the shape of a cross. Artworks range from a boat atop a shipping container with a net descending to the floor, made by local fishermen questioning 'what is truth', to the memories of Northumberlanders inscribed on a long wooden table. Documentary short films will be interwoven with the live broadcast to reveal both the story of the Passion and that of the north east. The Great North Passion is created in partnership with the Cultural Spring.

Handel's Messiah is one of the most popular choral pieces in Western music. It has been recorded hundreds of times and contains a tune that is as instantly recognisable as any in music. Yet few people know the extraordinary story of how this much-loved piece came to public attention - or how it helped save the lives of tens of thousands of children. Historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service present this one-hour drama documentary which recreates the first performance of Messiah at London's Foundling Hospital in 1750 and tells the heart-rending story of how this special fundraising concert helped maintain the hospital and heralded a golden age of philanthropy. Exploring historical documents and artefacts, Amanda Vickery examines the plight of women in Georgian London, particularly how the attitudes of the time led mothers to abandon their babies at the hospital. Tom Service looks at the momentous trials and tribulations faced by Handel in London and discovers how the composer became involved with the Foundling Hospital alongside another philanthropist of the day, the artist William Hogarth.

2014x90 24 Hours on Earth

  • 2014-04-21T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The changing position of the sun in the sky affects the behaviour of animals and plants across our planet. From the moment it rises, animals are waiting, ready to take advantage of the opportunities that the sun creates. A quirky chameleon uses solar power to survive, while a family of lemurs get a morning heat fix. But, as the day progresses and the sun climbs higher in the sky, becoming more powerful, animals must also react as it pushes them toward moments of crisis. As the sun sets and its great heat and light are extinguished, a night-time world wakes, full of characters who have carved a niche in the darkness. But even in the dead of night, the sun is not lost. Its rays are reflected in the moon, our 'ghost sun.' We take the rising and setting of the sun for granted, but it is the ultimate game changer. The way the natural world responds will be the difference between success and failure, life or death.

In the United States more than 2,500 people are serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes they committed when they were 17 or younger. In this film, five of them, all convicted for first degree murder, tell their stories. Brian was a 16-year-old outsider inspired by the Columbine School massacre when he and school friend Torey killed their classmate Cassie in a chilling murder reminiscent of a scene from a horror film. Josiah and Jacob both reflect on the impact childhood abuse had on the appalling murders they committed and Sean recalls gang life in the notorious Bloods, killing a passer-by the first time he shot a gun. All five give sober insights into their teenage selves and the deep regret they feel for their victims and all those impacted by their crimes. Through their stories the film asks some difficult questions. What is justice when a teenager kills? Can a horrific act place a life beyond redemption? Are there alternatives or should we simply dispose of them?

2014x92 The Magic of Mushrooms

  • 2014-04-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Professor Richard Fortey delves into the fascinating and normally-hidden kingdom of fungi. From their spectacular birth, through their secretive underground life to their final explosive death, Richard reveals a remarkable world that few of us understand or even realise exists - yet all life on Earth depends on it. In a specially-built mushroom lab, with the help of mycologist Dr Patrick Hickey and some state-of-the-art technology, Richard brings to life the secret world of mushrooms as never seen before and reveals the spectacular abilities of fungi to break down waste and sustain new plant life, keeping our planet alive. Beyond the lab, Richard travels across Britain and beyond to show us the biggest, fastest and most deadly organisms on the planet - all of them fungi. He reveals their almost magical powers that have world-changing potential - opening up new frontiers in science, medicine and technology.

2014x93 Dead Behind Bars

  • 2014-04-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary chronicling the lives and deaths of some of the 80 young people who have killed themselves in British prisons in the last ten years. It tells the stories of three of these young people, looking at the flaws in the system and the lapses in care that contributed to their deaths. Adam Rushton was 20 when he hanged himself from the bars of his bunk bed in HMYOI Brinsford in 2009. Ryan Clark was just 17 when he took his own life in the prison cell where he was on remand and 17-year-old Jake Hardy, who couldn't cope with life inside, was severely bullied and would cry during visits from his mum, took his own life in January 2012. Through their stories, the film explores the experiences of the children and young people we lock up and discovers why some of them take their own lives.

2014x94 Margo

  • 2014-04-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Kenneth Macdonald looks back on the remarkable life and career of Margo MacDonald, who in a political career spanning more than 40 years became one of the most important and influential figures in Scottish political life as well as one of Scotland's best loved personalities. Friends, colleagues and fellow campaigners talk fondly about the woman known to millions only as Margo; recalling her love of Scotland, her campaigning for the poor and under privileged and her love of television shopping channels.

2014x95 Pop Goes BBC Two

  • 2014-03-19T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

For 50 years, BBC TWO has been at the heart of popular music in the UK, and this programme offers 50 great moments in music from across the decades. It is an exploration of popular music through the BBC TWO prism, featuring key live performances, documentary extracts and iconic presenters

A portrait of one of the greatest English-language poets of his generation, this joyful and penetrating documentary was made with the late Seamus Heaney's unprecedented collaboration. The film explores the key personal relationship in his life, that with his wife Marie, and follows him to Harvard, New York and London, to readings, signings and public interviews.

2014x97 My Brother the Terrorist

  • 2014-04-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Filmmaker Robb Leech attempts to understand his stepbrother's journey from middle-class white boy in Weymouth to convicted terrorist. In 2010 Robb spent a year filming his stepbrother Rich after he turned his back on the world in which he grew up to become a fundamentalist Muslim called Salahuddin. Robb began filming with his stepbrother as he entered a strange new world where everyone talked about fighting jihad and implementing Sharia law. The result was Robb's acclaimed BBC Three documentary, My Brother the Islamist. When, in 2013, Salahuddin is convicted of preparing terrorism acts and jailed for six years, Robb is desperate to know what triggered his stepbrother, and others like him, to cross the line. Robb seeks out imam and psychologist Alyas Karmani to understand what drives young British-born men and women into radical jihadism. And he confronts Anjem Choudary, the man who converted Rich, about his role in Salahuddin's radicalisation.

2014x98 Genghis Khan

  • 2014-02-03T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

He was a man who combined the savagery of a real-life Conan the Barbarian with the sheer tactical genius of Napoleon, a man from the outermost reaches of Asia whose armies ultimately stood poised to conquer Europe. His name was Genghis Khan. Today the name of Genghis Khan is synonymous with dark evil yet in his lifetime he was a heroic figure, a supreme strategist capable of eliciting total devotion from his warriors. He grew up in poverty on the harsh unforgiving steppe of Mongolia. From the murder of his father, the kidnap of his wife and the execution of his closest friend, he learned the lessons of life the hard way. So how did this outcast come to conquer an empire larger than the Roman Empire? And was Genghis Khan the brutal monster who ruthlessly slaughtered millions in his quest for power, or was he a brilliant visionary who transformed a rabble of warring tribes into a nation capable of world domination? Filmed entirely on location in Mongolia, the film tells the truth behind the legend that is Genghis Khan.

In a cottage in northern Scotland, Megan Boyd twirled bits of feather, fur, silver and gold into elaborate fishing flies - at once miniature works of art and absolutely lethal. Wherever men and women cast their lines for the mighty Atlantic salmon, her name is whispered in mythic reverence, and stories about her surface and swirl like fairy tales. With breathtaking cinematography and expressive, hand-painted animation, this film both adheres to and escapes from traditional documentary form, spinning the facts and fictions of one woman's life into a stunning meditation on solitude, love, and its illusions.

2014x100 Vets in the Disaster Zone

  • 2014-04-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Michael Mosley travels to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan to explore the disaster from a completely fresh perspective - looking at the animals caught up in the crisis and the specialist team of vets who have come to save their lives and those of the people who depend on them. Amid the devastation, Michael learns about the little-known work these expert vets do, both in the short term by providing immediate veterinary care to thousands of animals and in the long term, by using their skills to develop pioneering technology that could help save millions of animals the next time a disaster strikes. He discovers what motivates this team to travel to some of the most dangerous places on earth to help animals and encounters many of the challenges they face as they work against the clock to leave a lasting legacy behind.

2014x101 Facing up to Mackintosh

  • 2014-04-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's design for The Glasgow School of Art is a Glasgow icon and renowned around the world. American architect Steven Holl was given the daunting task of creating a new building to sit opposite Mackintosh's masterpiece. Filmed over three years, 'Facing up to Mackintosh' charts the design and construction of the new school of design, now named the Reid Building, and explores how a building can affect the people working in it. The film is a collaboration with four recent graduates - Roberta Knox, Gibran Farrah, Walter Hamilton and Lu-Sisi - who contribute sound design, illustration, graphics and digital design, and includes interviews with GSA alumni Muriel Gray, Adrian Wiszniewski, Martin Boyce and Janice Kirkpatrick, as well as the architect Steven Holl.

2014x102 When Corden Met Barlow

  • 2014-05-05T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

James Corden and Gary Barlow head out on a road trip for this documentary, as James gets up close and personal with the man behind the music of his youth and discusses Gary's meteoric pop comeback. Gary Barlow has had one of the most incredible stories in pop history. We follow Gary's near-25-year career, from its beginnings to the Take That phenomenon, the wilderness years as the industry he loves cast him aside, and the darker times which have inspired his lyrics. James Corden has been a Take That fan since his teens. Now he gets to spend quality time with one of his heroes as they visit key places in Gary's career, from the working men's club where Gary first performed to the nightclub where Take That first auditioned. Corden tags along as Gary surprises one of his own fans on their wedding day, and even joins in band rehearsals. Featuring contributions from Elton John, Chris Evans, Robbie Williams, Gary's mother and members of the press and music industry, this documentary sees one of the nation's best-loved musicians shed light on the real story of his remarkable career.

A journey through the dramatic and destructive years of the French Revolution, telling its history in a way not seen before - through the extraordinary story of its art. Our guide through this turbulent decade is the constantly surprising Dr Richard Clay, an art historian who has spent his life decoding the symbols of power and authority. Dr Clay has always been fascinated by vandalism and iconoclasm, and believes much of the untold story of the French Revolution can be discovered through the stories of great moments of destruction. Who were the stone masons in the crowd outside Notre Dame that pulled down the statues of kings? Why do the churches of Paris still carry all the coded signs of anti-Christian state legislation? What does it mean, and who was carrying this out? Telling the story of the French Revolution - from the Storming of the Bastille to the rise of Napoleon - as the significant modern outbreak of iconoclasm, Clay argues that it reveals the destructive and constructive roles of iconoclasts and how this led directly to the birth of the modern Europe.

A trip through the Comedy Playhouse archive in the company of the people who made some of the most-loved episodes from the original series, as it returns to BBC One for a new run. From Steptoe and Son to Last of the Summer Wine, a series of one-off comedy ideas produced some of the most watched comedy series of the last 50 years. With commentary and insider knowledge from June Whitfield, Paul Merton, Hugh Dennis and top writing team Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

2014x105 Vertigo Road Trip

  • 2014-05-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Five people with an extreme fear of heights set off on a once-in-a lifetime adventure to cure their debilitating phobia. Accompanied by presenter Mel Giedroyc, the five sufferers confront their fears head-on as they undergo exposure therapy. From the dramatic peaks of the Alps to the world's tallest building, they'll attempt a series of increasingly difficult height-based challenges that will push them to their limits. Can they rise to the challenge and develop a head for heights? Shot in stunning locations in the UK, Austria, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the show climaxes at the tallest building in the world - the 828m Burj Khalifa tower. It's almost twice the height of London's Shard - will the five phobics be able to overcome their fear and climb it, or will it be mission impossible? Presenter Mel Giedroyc is joined by Oxford University psychologist Dr Jennifer Wild as they lead the group on this hair-raising and life-changing journey.

2014x106 Creating the Kelpies

  • 2014-05-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For the past eight years, Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott has been working on the biggest project of his life. The Kelpies are two 30m-high horse heads made of steel, now standing alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal. This film, narrated by Andy himself, follows the long and tortuous process of the creation of the 300-tonne sculptures from design to installation. The enormous technical challenge involved engineers in Leeds, steel mills in Hartlepool and Corby and metal benders in Tipton, and was nearly derailed by the financial crisis of 2008. Originally planned to form part of the canal lock mechanism, the sculptures are now a free-standing attraction within Falkirk's Helix Park.

From bomb threats sent to campaigners for more females on banknotes to sexually explicit pop videos. From extreme laddism at universities to rape jokes in the school yard... Kirsty Wark explores whether there's a new culture abroad in which it's acceptable to write about, talk about, and feature women in a sexually offensive, even abusive way. Or whether the female of the species just needs to 'man up', learn to enjoy a gag, and get used to the 21st century world.

Covent Garden present their highly-acclaimed production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, a depiction of the last day and night of the most iconic of seducers, in a thrilling new interpretation directed by the Royal Opera's Kasper Holten.

Don Giovanni had its premiere performance in Prague on October 29, 1787. Mozart's vastly successful opera, based on the stories of legendary libertine Don Juan, delighted the city that had taken him to their hearts. But what brought them all - composer and audience, theatre manager and cast - to this time and place? Acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazón presents the story of one of the best-known operas of all time. Based in Prague, Rolando explores the run-up to that candle-lit first performance, looking at the music of the opera and the social setting in which it was first performed, before recreating the finale of the opera close to how it would have looked and sounded on that autumn evening.

2014x110 The Plantagenets

  • 2014-04-30T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Professor Robert Bartlett explores the Plantagenets, England's longest ruling dynasty, in this version of the BBC Two series made especially for schools. Fifteen of the nation's most famous and infamous kings came from this one family. Their story is one of intrigue, conflict and brutality, but during their 331-year domination of England they shaped the country's politics and culture. Bartlett reveals how Parliament was born, the system of justice was established through Magna Carta and the foundations of the United Kingdom were set down. Ultimately, the family tore itself apart and was destroyed through civil war.

As part of its 50th birthday celebrations, BBC Two is allowing access all areas to their precious comedy vaults. This programme pulls from the shelf some rare and unseen comedy moments from some of the greatest names in comedy. There are pilots which have never been broadcast before, including Miranda Hart's Joke Shop, Stephen Fry's first appearance as the quizmaster in QI and a sitcom from the band Madness, as well as rare comedy treats from Spike Milligan, Pete and Dud, Rik Mayall and Billy Connolly, and Sacha Baron Cohen's first incarnation of Borat, an Albanian called Christo. Packed with archive treasures illustrating how groundbreaking and innovative BBC Two has been for British comedy, insightful analysis is provided by the guest interviews with some of the biggest names in television.

Nicholas Hytner, Director of London's National Theatre, interviews playwright, screenwriter, actor and author Alan Bennett as he celebrates his 80th birthday. Featuring clips from eight of Bennett's productions, including plays Forty Years On and The Habit of Art

A Series which follows Martha Kearney's bee-keeping year and explores the science, art and culture of the honeybee, the most ingenious insect known to humankind.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Thalidomide was prescribed to women to combat morning sickness, but the drug led to children being born with deformed or missing limbs. More than 50 years on, this documentary hears from British people affected by it, their families and those intimately involved in the campaign to secure compensation from the manufacturer, revealing the long battle through the courts and how society has treated them through the years.

2014x115 Bob Larbey - A Tribute

  • 2014-05-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Penelope Keith pays tribute to comedy writer Bob Larbey. He and his writing partner John Esmonde wrote some of Britain's best-loved comedies, including The Good Life.

2014x116 Museums at Night

  • 2014-05-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Will Gompertz celebrates Museums at Night, a three day festival of museums and galleries from St Ives to Orkney that throw open their doors till late, showcase their collections and party!

2014x117 The Battle to Beat Polio

  • 2014-05-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Stephanie Flanders, former BBC economics editor, has a very personal interest in the battle to beat polio. Her father, Michael Flanders, one half of the world-famous singing duo of the 50s and 60s, Flanders and Swann, was paralysed by the infection when he was 21. He used a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and died early at 53 through complications caused by the disease. Stephanie was just six. But the desperate search for a vaccine was far from straightforward. Stephanie discovers that it is the story of decades of battling between good and bad science, celebrity scientists with giant egos, prepared to take enormous risks to be first with a vaccine, and countless innocent victims. By the end, Stephanie realises there might have been a polio vaccine years earlier, and hundreds of thousands might have been spared, including her Dad.

Peter Bowker writes some of Britain's most compelling television dramas, winning BAFTAs for the likes of Occupation, about the Iraq war, and Eric and Ernie, about the early career of Morecambe and Wise. He has also written other award-winning dramas such as Flesh and Blood, Blackpool, Desperate Romantics and the medical series Monroe. Bowker's latest three-part series, From There to Here, which airs in May on BBC1, is a bold, sweeping saga about two Manchester families and how their lives are changed following the IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996 and the events of the next four years leading up to the Millenium. It covers Euro '96, Labour's election victory, Manchester 's rave music scene and the banking collapse. This film offers an exclusive insight into the life of Peter Bowker, who explains how he writes and where the inspiration for his writing comes from, and how after 23 years of writing for television he still feels insecure. 'I always feel my next commission could be my last...'

2014x119 Knight Club

  • 2014-01-06T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Film following the British team at the Battle of the Nations 2013, the world's biggest and most brutal period tournament held in the French countryside. Knight Club is the story of Rob, Dan, Gwilym and Sam, a gallant band of English and Welsh knights, who are part of the fledgling debut British team.

Nat King Cole was the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when America groaned under the weight of racial segregation and prejudice. Yet he possessed a natural talent so great that these issues were seemingly swept to one side to allow him to become one of the greatest jazz icons of all time. However, behind closed doors those around him were trying to think of a way to package him as something he was not: bi-white. This candid account of what really happened in and around his 'fairytale' life is taken from his private journals, interviews with his widow Maria and contributions from other family members, Tony Bennett, Buddy Greco, Harry Belafonte, Nancy Wilson, Sir Bruce Forsyth, George Benson, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis and many more. Featuring archive never seen before, it reveals Nat King Cole's feelings behind his ultimate calling as a 'beacon of hope' to the legions of the oppressed.

2014x121 50 Years of BBC Two Comedy

  • 2014-05-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

As part of BBC Two's 50th birthday celebrations, the channel has a two-hour comedy extravaganza lined up. Featuring some of the greatest names in comedy, this packed programme showcases the channel's remarkable output over the last 50 years. From The Likely Lads and Not Only... But Also in its first year in 1964, up to W1A and Rev. today, this is a romp through the funniest bits of BBC Two.

2014x122 The Mysterious Mr Webster

  • 2014-05-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The son of a coach-maker with a highly developed sense of the macabre, Jacobean dramatist John Webster's life was shadowy and his plays darkly imagined. His masterpiece The Duchess of Malfi is a gothic tale of forbidden love, intrigue, betrayal and murder, and was the most frequently performed play of the period not written by Shakespeare. In this documentary, Professor James Shapiro goes in search of the mysterious man behind the play, piecing together the fragments of Webster's life and exploring how he came to write The Duchess of Malfi just at the moment when the Jacobeans were inventing modern indoor theatre. Featuring contributions by Gemma Arterton, who plays the title role in The Globe's candlelit production, which can be seen on BBC Four on Sunday

As part of the 50th anniversary of BBC Two, the channel has commissioned Harry and Paul to celebrate the occasion in their own unique way, and this they are doing - both ruthlessly and Reithlessly. Inspired by Harry Enfield's Emmy Award-winning mythical biography, Norbert Smith, and Harry and Paul Whitehouse's Question Time spoof, the BBC's head of comedy Shane Allen asked them to come up with their own unique biography of BBC Two. In this one-off comedy-drama, Harry and Paul, themselves popular fixtures of the channel for half the 50 years, dance through the story of BBC Two. They start with its painful birth, as 'Auntie Beeb' pushes out the now familiar logo into the arms of the attending BBC execs. This sets the tone as the shows romp through the story of Two's highs and lows, from World War One to imported Scandinavian dramas, via The Forsyte Saga, Tim Nice But Brooke Taylor, Late Night Line Up with Joan Bakewell Tart and Monty Python. It drops into The Office and Boys from the Blackstuff, Arena, Old Grey Whistle Test and The Apprentice among many others. The whole journey is set inside a Simon Schama documentary, with Simon, played by Harry, laconically walking through and linking this 50-year saga. Shot in the studio and on location, the show visits and parodies in the region of 50 different shows, and there are 150 of BBC Two's favourite presenters, actors, comics and politicians on parade, most of them portrayed by either Harry or Paul with a little help from their friends.

A journey into the BBC archives unearthing glorious performances and candid interviews from the golden age of jazz. Featuring some of the greatest names in American music, including the godfather of New Orleans jazz Louis Armstrong, the King of Swing Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald.

Henri Matisse, his health failing, reinvented himself towards the end of his life with a bold and striking new technique, the cut-out. It produced some of his most famous and recognisable works and the Tate's exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Matisse's celebrated cut-outs together in one place.

Trevor Fishlock explores how two sisters from Wales, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, created one of the great British art collections of the 20th century. They embraced impressionist art long before it became fashionable and left their remarkable collection to the nation. The money came from the coalfields of South Wales, making the sisters two of the richest women in the world. During the First World War they worked as volunteers in a soup kitchen just behind the front line. All their lives, they never gave up on their desire to turn their home at Gregynog into the beating artistic and cultural heart of Wales.

2014x127 Documenting John Grierson

  • 2014-05-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documenting John Grierson Born the son of a headmaster in Cambusbarron, near Stirling, John Grierson directed one of the first documentaries, Drifters, set up the influential GPO Film Unit making Night Mail, and went on to be the first director of The National Film Board of Canada. The annual awards for best documentary are made in his name. He set out to make films to change the world, and made not just films, but filmmakers.

Former Royal Navy officer and test pilot Captain Eric `Winkle' Brown has flown more types of aircraft than anyone in history and is regarded as one of the best pilots Britain has produced. In this programme, the 95-year-old chats to James Holland about his flying experiences and encounters with Nazis, as well as other adventures in the run-up to and during the Second World War, illustrated by archive and personal photographs.

Documentary telling, in her own words, the story of Carole King's upbringing in Brooklyn and the subsequent success that she had as half of husband and wife songwriting team Goffin and King for Aldon Music on Broadway. It was during this era in the early 1960s that they created a string of pop hits such as Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee, The Locomotion for Little Eva and Will You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles, which became the first number 1 hit by a black American girl group. Not to mention the era-defining Up on the Roof for the Drifters and the magnificent Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin. By 1970 Carole was divorced from songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and had moved to Los Angeles. It was here that she created her classic solo album Tapestry, packed with delightful tunes but also, for the first time, her own lyrics, very much sung from the heart. The album included It's Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and You've Got a Friend and held the record for the most weeks at number 1 for nearly 20 years. It became a trusted part of everyone's record collection and has sold over 25 million copies to date. The film features some wonderful unseen material and home movies, and narrates her life as an acclaimed singer-songwriter. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles. More recently, in 2013, Carole was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress for her songwriting, whilst in 2014 a Broadway production Beautiful, which tells her life story during the Goffin and King era, has received rave reviews. Nowadays Carole King would see herself as much as an eco-activist as a songwriter, and is to be found constantly lobbying congress in defence of the wildlife and eco-systems of her beloved Idaho.

As veterans gather to relive one of the turning points of the Second World War, historian James Holland moves beyond the D-Day beaches to reassess the brutal 77-day Battle for Normandy that followed the invasion. Challenging some of the many myths that have grown up around this vital campaign, Holland argues that we have become too comfortable in our understanding of events, developing shorthand to tell this famous story that does great injustice to those that saw action in France across the summer of 1944. Including perspectives from those who fought on both sides, Holland examines not only the nature of the fighting and the higher aims of the campaign, but also the operational level - the nuts and bolts - and in so doing reveals the true complexity of this bitter and bloody battle. This story is about the challenge for both sides to adapt to conditions in a campaign of carnage that has rarely been acknowledged. More than just well trodden tales of heroic struggle, it is also the story of two competing military doctrines: one ill-prepared for the organisational demands of a long battle, the other in the process of building the greatest military machine ever seen.

2014x131 The Science of D-Day

  • 2014-06-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Seventy years ago one of the greatest amphibious assaults in history was launched from here on the south coast of England. And within a matter of hours, 7000 vessels had landed 156,000 troops on the beaches of Normandy. It was a manoeuvre that changed the course of the war and tested innovations in science and engineering for the first time. On this programme, engineer Rob Bell looks at the nuts and bolts which made such a staggering invasion possible. From giant troop carrying gliders to tanks that could drive on water. How necessity really did become the mother of invention. Like all new inventions - not all of them worked and resulted in devastating consequences. We find out why. This is the science of D-Day.

After 22 years playing for the world's greatest football teams, David Beckham has retired. For the first time in his adult life he has freedom to do whatever he wants and to mark the occasion he's going on an adventure. He's chosen Brazil, and he's taking three of his closest friends to join him on this once in a lifetime experience. Starting with beach footvolley in Rio, the friends travel deep into the Amazon, ending up with the remote Yanonami tribe, with David desperately trying to explain the beautiful game

Nigel Slater takes us on a nostalgic, funny and heart-warming journey back in time - through the biscuit tins of mum and dad, the doilies and saucers of aunties and grannies, the lunch boxes of friends and siblings. Nigel charts the origins of the humble biscuit, from its vital contribution to Britain's nautical dominance of the globe, through to the biscuit tin becoming that most ubiquitous of household items. He explores the history of our most famous brands, uncovering the Georgian and Quaker origins of the biscuits we love and eat today, meeting eccentric biscuit anoraks who have dedicated their lives to a love of these simple baked treats and meeting scientists who squash, dunk and ignite biscuits for research purposes. Nigel recalls the biscuits he found in his lunch box, the ones he cherished and the ones that would shape his formative years. He asks why it is, that of all the treats we indulge in on a regular basis, the biscuit has become such a dependable culinary companion. What makes Britain a nation of ardent biscuit eaters like no other in the world, with a £2.3 billion industry to match?

As the nation prepares for the start of the 2014 World Cup, England football legend Gary Lineker presents this very special documentary on the world's fascination with Brazil and the beautiful game. Gary meets Brazilian striking legend Ronaldo for a frank and illuminating insight into the pleasure and pain of playing for Brazil and there are revealing interviews with key figures, like World Cup-winning player Leonardo. Focus also falls on Pele - his gifts, global appeal and role in cementing Brazil and Brazilian football firmly in the hearts and minds of the world. The programme asks Michael Palin why we all love Brazil, and there are also contributions from Rio Ferdinand, John Barnes and Michael Owen. It features rarely-seen archive footage, reliving great moments in World Cup history, and with help from Brazilian model and television host Fernanda Lima, explores the roots and romance of Brazil and the beautiful game.

Roberta Flack's Grammy award-winning song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was America's biggest selling single of 1972. The following year her gentle, pure voice charmed middle America once again when Killing Me Softly with His Song reached the top of the charts and ran off with another Grammy for single of the year. In the early 70s Roberta Flack was one of the most successful pop stars in the world. But Flack was no overnight sensation. She didn't have a hit single till she was 35 years of age. Nor was her success a traditional African-American rags-to-riches story. She came from the black middle class that had been born out of the self-contained hub of segregated America. She studied classical music at Howard University, America's top black university, and probably would have pursued a classical career had that door been open to her in 50s America. Instead, she taught music in Washington's public school system for 10 years while she struggled for her break. In the race conscious times, she also had her detractors. While she was singing duets of black consciousness with soul singer Donnie Hathaway, she was married to her white bass player. Also, they said she sounded too white; the gospel-infused voices of Aretha Franklin and James Brown, which came out of the dominant Baptist church, were what real soul singers sounded like. What those critics didn't understand was that there are many musical traditions within black America and Roberta Flack came from the more restrained Methodist one where they sang hymns rather than gospel. This is the story of the emergence of different kind of soul singer set against the turbulent backdrop of America's Civil Rights movement. Contributors include: Roberta Flack; Dionne Warwick; Johnny Mathis; Cissy Houston; Imani Perry - Princeton University, professor of African American Studies; Greg Tate - musician and critic; Fredera Hadley - musicologist; and John Akomfrah - filmmaker and critic.

2014x136 D-Day Battles in the Shadows

  • 2014-06-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

As D-Day is remembered, Robert Hall tells the little-known story of the French resistance's battle to stop a German division reaching the landing beaches.

Over eight extraordinary years, this award-winning documentary follows the daily life of a twelve-year-old child prodigy as she and her father work towards her goal of becoming an internationally-renowned classical pianist. Under the watchful eye of her father Pierre, a Juilliard-trained violinist devoted to her flourishing career, Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki grows up and matures before our eyes as she searches for her own identity. Labelled a child prodigy, she is catapulted into a world of concerts, competitions and media attention at a very young age. From backstage tears, adolescent rebellion and burnout to her parents' unexpected divorce and finding her first love, the film reveals a rare and candid look inside the world of classical music - a world that demands an elusive alchemy of sacrifice, talent and serendipity. Shot in concert halls, hotels and airports around the world - and featuring stunning piano performances - the film amounts to a front row seat in the unfolding of a life and the forming of a personality. As Marika seeks her place and identity in the world, we witness her evolution from child to adult and experience the numerous conflicts she overcomes to finally make it on her own. It's a story that says as much about families, growing up and the complex relationships between parents and their children as it does about the world of classical music.

2014x138 Pipers of the Trenches

  • 2014-06-16T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For four hundred years or more, Highland regiments advanced and attacked to the sound of the bagpipes. In the Great War, pipers climbed out of the trenches, unarmed, to face machine guns and shells. The descendants of those men return to the battlefields to discover individual stories of unparalleled bravery.

Documentary telling the story of the most extraordinary experiment in the history of animal science. In the 1960s a powerful and charismatic scientist flooded a house. He then invited a young woman to live there full-time with a dolphin. Their intention was the ultimate in animal research - they wanted to teach the dolphin to speak English. What happened next would change all their lives. For the first time those involved in the experiment reveal the secrets of the Dolphin House.

Afghanistan has a drugs problem. A big one. It has some of the highest rates of heroin addiction anywhere - over a million Afghans are now problem drug users. This film follows the fortunes of two young heroin addicts - Jawad and Babrak - as they try to kick their smack habits and get their lives back together. It's a deeply personal portrait of hope and fear in a country ravaged by war, poverty and hard drugs.

2014x141 Seven Wonders of Brazil

  • 2014-06-20T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Robert Beckford takes a journey into the heart of Brazil, a country where football is worshipped like a national cult, but Brazil has another much older religion. One that has existed since the country was colonised by the Portuguese almost 500 years ago. Brazilian Christianity is a mixture of influences - there is song and dance, African beliefs, indigenous Indian beliefs, and the folk Catholicism of the southern Europeans. Robert explores the incredible spiritual diversity of Brazil by travelling to seven wonders. From the spectacular and iconic Christ the redeemer statue to the samba beat of the carnival, at each wonder, Robert looks at a key ingredient that makes up the melting pot that is Brazilian Christianity

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Billy Joel was building a catalogue of timeless songs while enjoying a string of consecutive hit albums and singles. Though selling out concerts around the world, Billy and his music were, like much of western pop culture and rock 'n' roll itself, unheard behind the Iron Curtain, except for black market bootlegs and faint shortwave radio. By the late 80s, the Cold War between the USSR and the West had begun to thaw in the light of Russian head-of-state Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of Glasnost and Perestroika, designed to bring openness and transparency to the Soviet Union while promoting political reform and cross-cultural exchanges. When the Kremlin invited Billy Joel to perform in the Soviet Union, he jumped at the chance to realise a long-time dream of performing for the Russian people. As America's pop rock musical ambassador, Billy Joel brought the Soviets their first fully-staged high-energy rock show. The tour began with a small acoustic concert in Tbilisi, followed by three electrifying stadium shows in Moscow and three shows in Leningrad. Joel's historic visit to Russia became a worldwide news event, with journalists and writers covering the tour, its progress and the effect Billy, his band and his family were having on the Russian people. The entire tour was professionally filmed and the concerts were simulcast on radio worldwide. During their stay, Billy and his family, along with musicians, staff, and a huge press entourage spent their days interacting with the Russian people, forging true bonds of friendship wherever they went. The tour has been seen as a major cultural turning point in the course of US and Soviet relations. Seen and heard now, more than 25 years later, Joel's Russian concert tour performances stand out among the most electrifying and moving of his career and this film bears witness to the timeless revolutionary power of rock 'n' roll.

In August 1987, Billy Joel took his worldwide Bridge tour on an unprecedented leg through the Soviet Union, the first fully-staged rock concert to visit the country. This programme features highlights from his concert at the Lenin Sports and Concert Complex in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). Songs include: Angry Young Man, Goodnight Saigon, An Innocent Man, The Longest Time, A Matter of Trust, Only the Good Die Young, It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me, Uptown Girl and Back in the USSR.

With around 330,000 mobility scooters on our roads and pavements, Britain has more mobility scooters than any other country in Europe - and the numbers are growing fast. For owners, scooters are a lifeline offering freedom and independence, but for some road users they can cause chaos. The number of accidents with mobility scooter drivers is increasing and there's very little regulation, as mobility scooter drivers don't need to pass a proficiency test and insurance is not compulsory. Even being registered blind doesn't legally stop you being allowed to drive one. With access to South Yorkshire Police's mobility scooter driving school, this warm hearted, engaging and informative documentary follows the lives of scooter users in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Wales. We meet those living their twilight years to the full with the help of a four-wheeled friend and also hear the stories of those who have fallen foul of the mobility scooter phenomenon. With ailing health a common theme, the documentary is as much about mortality as it is mobility.

To the outside world Lorraine Pascale is the successful TV chef, best-selling author and ex-model, but there is another side to her story. Given up at birth, adopted at 18-months-old and then fostered aged eight when her family broke down, she really has been through the system. Lorraine looks back at her childhood in a bid to shine a light on the neglected world of fostering and tracks down the foster carers who looked after her as a child, whom she hasn't seen for over 30 years.

Documentary delving into the world of internationally-renowned opera house Glyndebourne in its 80th anniversary year. The film provides a critical and expert overview of Richard Jones's new production of Richard Strauss's much-loved comic opera, Der Rosenkavalier. It looks at the historical and musical background of the work, the composer and the context in which the opera was written, as well as reflecting on its programme history at Glyndebourne. The film also examines the relevance of presenting the work at Glyndebourne today, and what makes Glyndebourne and its heritage unique.

2014x147 When Andy Won Wimbledon

  • 2014-06-23T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

On the hottest day of the year in 2013 millions of people all over the UK were glued to their TV and radio sets willing Andy Murray to end 77 years of sporting hurt by winning the Men's Wimbledon crown. When Andy Won Wimbledon is the emotional and heartwarming story of how so many people experienced Murray's historic victory against Djokovic that day. There are personal recollections from Murray himself and those closest to him, including mum Judy and girlfriend Kim Sears. Plus, stars and members of the public recall their own stories from this classic 'where were you when' moment. With contributions from John McEnroe, Sue Barker, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Michael Parkinson, Amy McDonald and John Newman.

Samantha Lewthwaite is one of the world's most wanted terrorists. The widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 bombers, she claimed ignorance of her husband's lethal intentions. She said she was a victim too. But now she's on the run, somewhere in Africa, charged with conspiracy to cause explosions. For three years British, American, and Kenyan security services have been after the so-called White Widow. But what strange journey has this former sixth form schoolgirl from a quiet home counties market town taken? How did she end up as the friend and confidante of some of the top echelons of al-Qaeda? Filmmaker Adam Wishart has spent a year tracking down the real story of Samantha Lewthwaite - for the first time revealing her path to radicalisation and the hate preacher who inspired her.

Today, few people's clothes attract as much attention as the royal family, but this is not a modern-day Hello magazine-inspired obsession. As Dr Lucy Worsley reveals, it has always been this way. Exploring the royal wardrobes of our kings and queens over the last 400 years, Lucy shows this isn't just a public preoccupation, but our monarchs' as well. From Elizabeth I to our present queen, Lucy believes that the royal wardrobe's significance goes way beyond the cut and colour of the clothing and that royal fashion is and has always been regarded as their personal statement to their people. So most monarchs have carefully choreographed every aspect of their wardrobe and, for those who have not, there have sometimes been calamitous consequences.

In September 2014, Scotland's people face a momentous choice: should they remain part of the United Kingdom, or opt for independence? As the debate hots up, Robert Peston asks the big question which is at the heart of it: would Scotland be richer or poorer as an independent nation? It is a journey which takes him from oil platforms in the North Sea, to the Shetland folk festival, and the high-tech industries of Dundee. He discovers that although money matters, it isn't the be all and end all. For many, just as important is what kind of nation Scotland wants to be.

2014x151 Guilty by Association

  • 2014-07-07T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Alex has been charged with a murder committed by a friend in a spontaneous fight; Wayne has been convicted of possessing a firearm he never touched; Joseph is serving a life sentence for a murder he didn't even see. All of them have been convicted using the law of joint enterprise, under which a person in a group or gang can be held responsible for the criminal acts of others. Joint enterprise is a 300-year-old law which has been increasingly used in recent years to combat the rise in gang violence. Its supporters argue that it ensures that those who encourage violent crimes are held responsible for their actions and that it deters further violence. It has been used to secure convictions in a number of high-profile murder cases, including two of the killers of Stephen Lawrence and the three murderers of Ben Kinsella. Others argue that it is leading to wrongful convictions of people who were only on the periphery of a crime, but who will, nevertheless, be sentenced to mandatory life sentences. This documentary follows the story of Alex's family after his arrest and during his trial for murder at the Old Bailey and also examines the cases of Wayne and Joseph. We speak to defence lawyers, prosecutors and also to the families of victims, including the Kinsellas, who believe that without joint enterprise their children's killers would have walked free. The programme raises questions about how we deal with group violence, what makes a murderer and whether we are locking young people away on life sentences for crimes they did not commit.

From My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock to God Save the Queen, this is the story of ten records from the 1930s to the present day that have been banned by the BBC. The reasons why these songs were censored reveals the changing controversies around youth culture over the last 75 years, with Bing Crosby and the Munchkins among the unlikely names to have met the wrath of the BBC. With contributions from: Carrie Grant, Paul Morley, Stuart Maconie, Glen Matlock, Mike Read and Jon Robb.

Michel Roux Jr sets out to discover the secret of chocolate - not just why we're addicted to the sublime and complex foodstuff but its rich and varied history, from a sacred drink of Aztec Emperors to the aphrodisiac of choice at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles. For Michel Roux Jr the best chocolate in the world is to be found in France, where the art of the chocolatier has been handed down from generation to generation. In this documentary he sets out to create his own unique chocolate flavour to use in his cooking. He will immerse himself in the world of chocolate, from the raw cocoa bean to some of the most refined and unusual chocolate creations the world has seen. Michel Roux will be tasting and tempering, dipping and decorating to discover the art of chocolate making as he sets out to create his very own melt in your mouth chocolate flavour.

A central character in the BBC's football coverage since 1992, Alan Hansen is bowing out after the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Gary Lineker presents a personal and revealing tribute as Hansen joins friends, family and colleagues to look back at an illustrious career as a player and a pundit. This very private, self-effacing family man opens up about his playing career with Scotland and Liverpool, and talks about the close relationships forged over the years with the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Mark Lawrenson. As club captain of Liverpool during the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, Hansen talks emotionally about the events of that day and how they've had a profound personal effect on him, and everyone else associated with Liverpool Football Club, over the subsequent 25 years. He also discusses the Heysel Disaster four years earlier, and reveals his disappointment at missing out on the 1986 World Cup for Scotland. And we also learn why Hansen turned his back on football management. Lineker also looks at the massive effect his friend and colleague Hansen has had on sports broadcasting. The so-called 'King of Pundits', he revolutionised the role of the TV analyst. Along with Andy Gray, he was responsible for transforming attitudes towards football punditry. He was unafraid to criticise footballers or the establishment - passionate, forthright and above all, intelligent. Who can forget the infamous quote about the Manchester United team - 'You never win anything with kids'? Hansen's appeal was so widespread that he even appeared in polls commissioned to find a new James Bond, became a housewife's favourite and brought female viewers to Match of the Day in the process. There are contributions from Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Des Lynam, Jamie and Harry Redknapp, Jose Mourinho, Brendan Rodgers, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Mark Lawrenson and Alan's wife Janet and children Lucy and Adam

2014x155 Rio in Rio

  • 2014-07-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Rio in Rio is a personal insight into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil from the former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand. This is Ferdinand the football fan, pundit and traveller as he explores the city of Rio during football's greatest show on earth. This trip has opened up a whole new world for Rio. While the focus has been on the pitch over the past month and Rio has been learning the ropes in broadcasting, he has also been meeting 'Cariocas', as the locals are known, to sample a city famous for its beauty, beach culture, good food, party music and to get their views on the World Cup in a country that hasn't fully welcomed the tournament at a time of major social and economic problems across Brazil. How is the World Cup affecting their everyday lives, and who will benefit when the show leaves town? The man from Peckham is an active campaigner on racism, poverty and inner city violence, and first up he visits one of the favelas and community sports projects where some of the poorest live. The journey continues with a visit into the rainforest some 100 miles outside the city to see his good friends and former Manchester United team mates the da Silva twins, who welcome him into their extended family home to sample Brazil's first match of the tournament. This is a learning experience for Rio, who follows England's tournament through new eyes as a pundit, fan and friend. From sitting among the fans on his first visit to the Maracana stadium to local bars, this is Rio adapting to life as a non-international player. This is the 2014 World Cup as Rio Ferdinand experiences it!

In 1986, Edinburgh hosted the Commonwealth Games for a second time. There were sporting triumphs from athletes who were to become household names - Steve Cram, Daley Thompson, Tessa Sanderson and Scotland's own, Liz McColgan, winner of the 10,000m gold medal. But these were Games when sport locked horns with politics over the issue of sanctions against the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. The boycott of more than half the Commonwealth nations brought the Games to its knees. The drama which unfolded placed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Queen and flamboyant newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell centre stage in a story that attracted worldwide attention.

2014x157 The Joy of the Guitar Riff

  • 2014-07-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The guitar riff is the DNA of rock 'n' roll, a double helix of repetitive simplicity and fiendish complexity on which its history has been built. From Chuck Berry through to the White Stripes, this documentary traces the ebb and flow of the guitar riff over the last 60 years of popular music. With riffs and stories from an all-star cast including Brian May, Dave Davies, Hank Marvin, Joan Jett, Nile Rodgers, Tony Iommi, Robert Fripp, Johnny Marr, Nancy Wilson, Kevin Shields, Ryan Jarman, Tom Morello and many more. Narrated by Lauren Laverne.

At the tail end of 2013 the papers were full of panic-inducing headlines about the prospect of millions of Romanians waiting to invade our shores, take our jobs and fleece our welfare system once EU border controls were relaxed on January 1. Journalist and filmmaker Tim Samuels, himself a descendent of Romanian immigrants, has decided to look behind the headlines, following the experiences of Romanians who have headed to British shores to live and work for the first time, as well as exploring the UK's continuing unease with the thorny issue of immigration. Irreverent, insightful and warm, The Great Big Romanian Invasion reveals some surprising sides to our own national psyche as well as that of our newest neighbours.

Thursday 5 December 2013 is a night the residents of the Norfolk seaside resort of Hemsby will never forget. That night homes fell into the sea during the worst storm surge to hit the East Coast for sixty years. BBC presenter David Whiteley witnessed the drama unfold. Seven months on he returns to find the community still fighting for the survival of their village. Hemsby is a village people fall in love with. It is the site of one of the country's first holiday camps, and tourists still flock there today to enjoy its beautiful sandy beach. But with no hope of government money to protect it, villagers have seen almost 70 homes go over the edge and into the sea. Seeking advice from erosion experts and business gurus, and building their own defences, the residents are determined not to let Hemsby be lost to the sea. David joins the villagers in their latest campaign, meets the people about to buy a home on the threatened dunes and goes with the map man who's quite literally been redrawing the map of the East coast over 40 years of erosion.

2014x160 Rich Hall's California Stars

  • 2014-07-20T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

California has always been an empty sales pitch. Its first settlements were borne of missionary zeal. It promised a haven from marauders, banditos and mercenaries. Since then it has wiled us with unlimited gold, boundless harvests, silver screen-stardom, dotcom salvation and hi-tech silicon marvels. It has always been a place that promises a good chance of success-if you're youthful or white. And if you're Mexican, it at least promises a decent chance of survival. It is a place that instantly forgets its past so it can reinvent it for tourists and dreamers. True reality has never been good enough for Californians. They are always vaguely dissatisfied with themselves, their bodies, their spirituality, their government and their present car. Yet they still believe they shape both American culture and American character. And to a large degree, they have. In his unique and sardonic way, Rich takes the viewer on a skewed but keenly-eyed journey to the place built on a tectonic faultline, but still calls itself the Land of Dreams.

Passionate flying enthusiast and broadcaster John Sergeant celebrates the plane that some believe won the war - the Lancaster. The film tells the story of this mighty aircraft and the ordinary people whose lives were made extraordinary through their association with it.

The air around us is not just empty space; it is an integral part of the chemistry of life. Plants are made from carbon dioxide, nitrogen nourishes the soil and oxygen gives us the energy we need to keep our hearts pumping and our brains alive. But how did we come to understand what air is made of? How did we come to know that this invisible stuff around us contains anything at all? Gabrielle Walker tells the remarkable story of the quest to understand the air. It's a tale of heroes and underdogs, chance encounters and sheer blind luck that spans the entire history of science. It began as a simple desire to further our knowledge of the natural world, but it ended up uncovering raw materials that have shaped our modern world, unravelling the secrets of our own physiology and revealing why we are here at all.

A one-off special to herald the start of the Commonwealth Games. Some of the nation's best-loved presenters - Clare Balding, Denise Lewis, Anita Rani, Dan Snow and Reggie Yates - travel around the globe to marvel at seven diverse natural wonders and meet some of the two billion members of the Commonwealth. They venture to the oldest desert on the planet, the most pristine rainforest, the world's greatest waterfall, the largest mangrove swamp, the richest coral reef and the world's most spectacular fjordland. The final wonder is found deep in a cave far closer to home. Along the way they discover what it means to part of the Commonwealth today.

The northern soul phenomenon was the most exciting underground British club movement of the 1970s. At its highpoint, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose. A dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves, vinyl obsession and much more grew up around this - all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat. Through vivid first-hand accounts and rare archive footage, this film charts northern soul's dramatic rise, fall and re-birth. It reveals the scene's roots in the mod culture of the 1960s and how key clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Sheffield's Mojo helped create the prototype that would blossom in the next decade. By the early 1970s a new generation of youngsters in the north were transforming the old ballrooms and dancehalls of their parents' generation into citadels of the northern soul experience, creating a genuine alternative to mainstream British pop culture. This was decades before the internet, when people had to travel great distances to enjoy the music they felt so passionate about. Set against a rich cultural and social backdrop, the film shows how the euphoria and release that northern soul gave these clubbers provided an escape from the bleak reality of their daily lives during the turbulent 1970s. After thriving in almost total isolation from the rest of the UK, northern soul was commercialized and broke nationwide in the second half of the 70s. But just as this happened, the once-healthy rivalry between the clubs in the north fell apart amidst bitter in-fighting over the direction the scene should go. Today, northern soul is more popular than ever, but it was back in the 1970s that one of the most fascinating and unique British club cultures rose to glory. Contributors include key northern soul DJs like Richard Searling, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis, Kev Roberts, alongside Lisa Stansfield, Norman Jay, Pete Waterman, Marc Almond, Peter Stringfellow and others.

Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble A unique insight into the 120-strong Red Arrows team of pilots and ground crew as they prepare to celebrate their 50th display season and turn British skies red, white and blue

Documentary presented by Professor Simon Schaffer which charts the amazing and untold story of automata - extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life. The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess. All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today. As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made - the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that to us that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.

Documentary telling the story of Kenyan athlete David Rudisha, the greatest 800m runner the world has ever seen, and his highly unusual coach, the Irish Catholic missionary Brother Colm O'Connell. Shot over ten years, the film begins in 2005 when we first meet David as a shy 16-year-old arriving at a training camp with nothing but a dream of emulating his father's 1968 Olympic silver medal. The camp is run by the unlikeliest of coaches, missionary and amateur athletics trainer Brother Colm, who quickly spots his talent. Together they embark on a journey through injury, disappointment and terror when violence sweeps through the country in the aftermath of the 2008 election, all the way to the 2012 Olympics and the greatest 800m race the world has ever seen. With unprecedented access and featuring interviews with Seb Coe and Steve Cram, this is an epic, magical and uplifting tale that reaches far beyond sport.

2014x168 Fast Tales

  • 2014-07-20T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

During the most demanding Ramadan for over 30 years, Dr Saleyha Ahsan meets prominent British Muslims undertaking 16 hour fasting days throughout July and talks to Dr Michael Mosley whose health was transformed by a fasting diet.

Sir Chris Hoy is Britain's greatest ever Olympian, winning six gold and one silver medal at four Olympic Games. His amazing journey took him from a cycling club in Edinburgh to the biggest sporting stages in the world. But he doesn't believe that he was simply born to be a champion. So how did he do it? And how does his story compare with the other top athletes he meets in this revealing film? With Andy Murray, Lennox Lewis, Sir Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington and Graeme Obree.

China is the fastest growing nation in history, an economic superpower, but it has cultural ambitions too and nowhere is this clearer than in its embrace of Western classical music. Huge sums of government money have been poured into concert halls across the country and millions of young musicians, many of whom were inspired by the success of concert pianist Lang Lang, are now competing to help fill them. But how does a society that traditionally celebrates discipline and conformity adapt to the individualism and artistic freedom demanded by the music of Beethoven? Contributors include Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, conductor of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Chinese musicians from Shanghai's Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory as well as a new generation of aspiring classical musicians.

2014x171 The Games People Play

  • 2014-07-26T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ex-rugby international John Beattie investigates what happens when the worlds of sport and politics collide.

2014x172 Tulisa: The Price of Fame

  • 2014-07-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary which follows the last 12 months in the singer Tulisa Contostavlos's life. Combining self-shot diary footage with actuality the programme shows what's it's really like to be on the receiving end of a tabloid sting and its consequences. The film charts Tulisa's highs and her lows, her arrest, her charge, state of mind and suicide attempt and her treatment at the hands of the tabloid press as she travels to the brink of disaster before her case collapses and she regains her life and her reputation. Hard-hitting and harrowing, the film lifts the lid on this episode in the singer's life and in doing so tells us about the nature of celebrity culture and how it feels to be a major celebrity facing public ruin.

2014x173 Children of Syria

  • 2014-07-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Syria's war - well into its fourth year and with no end in sight - is having a devastating impact on the lives of the country's children. Tens of thousands have been killed or wounded. Many are learning to hate. Many more are deeply traumatised. With unique access across the conflict's frontlines, Lyse Doucet follows the lives of six children over six months. Filmed in Damascus, Homs and amongst the refugee community in Turkey, their stories offer an intimate and powerful insight into a country being torn apart. Syria's war is a war on childhood, and the lives of its children will shape the country's future for decades to come.

Actor and musician Sam Palladio hosts a musical tribute to Elvis Presley, 60 years to the day from when he recorded his first single That's All Right at Sun Studio in Memphis on July 5th 1954. Sam traces Elvis's story from childhood poverty in Mississippi, where he had to make do with a broom for a guitar, to the moment when, by accident, he ended up recording the song that changed the history of popular music. There are performances of the finest Elvis tracks from the likes of soul legend Candi Staton, LA duo the Pierces and country star Laura Bell Bundy.

Featuring stunning aerial footage from 54 countries, this film from acclaimed aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and ecology-minded French director Luc Besson reveals the beauty and fragility of our planet as never before.

2014x176 1914 Night - To War

  • 2014-08-03T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

BBC Parliament shows a themed evening of programmes to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, starting with the documentary, To War, presented by Mark D'Arcy.

2014x177 Live at Edinburgh Castle

  • 2014-07-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A spectacular live concert with Edinburgh Castle providing the magnificent backdrop and featuring British and international music artists performing a mixture of current and classic hit songs.

Mark Lawson talks to comedian, writer and actress Jo Brand. After a decade working as a psychiatric nurse, Jo turned her hand to comedy in the 1980s and has spent nearly 30 years at the top of what is widely accepted to be a male-dominated genre, receiving recognition by BAFTA in 2011 for her performance in the sitcom Getting On. One of the most important female comics of her generation, she reveals the backlash she faced on her arrival on the alternative comedy scene, her approach to hecklers and taboos, as well as her experiences as a TV personality - from the pressure of having her own sketch show, Jo Brand: Through The Cakehole, to being on panel shows such as Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week.

Distinguished war reporter Kate Adie examines the impact of women's work on the Home Front during the First World War. Innovations included the first women's police force, women's football and female surgeons operating on men. Adie argues that what truly mattered though was whether these changes in women's lives were long-lasting or viewed as 'only for the duration'.

2014x180 Football Fight Club

  • 2014-08-11T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In Britain there is a new generation of young football fans, responsible for trebling violent incidents since 2007. Last season the police clamped down on football-related public disorder with 600 new football banning orders and nearly 3,000 arrests. This documentary follows Britain's youth football firms across the 2013/14 season. The film features members of three firms - 'The Blazing Squad', made up of Man City fans; The 'Yid Army' (Tottenham Hotspur) and 'The Interchange Riot Squad' (Bury) - and follows them home and away to tell the inside story of why a new group of young men are engaged in football-related violence, even though the clubs obviously don't condone their actions. They allow us into their lives to meet their families, girlfriends and show the secretive network of organised fights that take place every week. We meet 18-year-old Paul, studying engineering at college, who has been in Bury FC's firm since he was 16. Aaron is 17 years old and the new recruit who wants to join Manchester City's youth firm. The firm is run by Carl, who at 24 is the 'top boy' and has a banning order that prevents him from watching the club he loves. In London, Dante's dedication to Tottenham Hotspur has resulted in three convictions for football violence. Recently released from prison, he has got engaged to his fiancée Harley. But can she keep him on the straight and narrow?

Compilation of songs previously banned by the BBC including Lola by the Kinks, Jackie by Scott Walker and We Don't Need this Fascist Groove Thang by Heaven 17.

2014x182 The Girl in the Diary

  • 2014-08-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Journalist and broadcaster Geraint Talfan Davies journeys to Berlin to uncover the story about his uncle, Idris Morgan, a young Welshman witnessing Nazi power at first hand in the 1930s. His uncle's diary is his only guide as he unveils the story of a friendship with a young German girl and her mysterious death - a death that brought Idris face to face with Wilhelm Brückner, Adolf Hitler's chief adjutant, only days before the massacre of the Night of the Long Knives. This is a personal story of a dark epiphany, as well as a moving tale of an ordinary family adjusting to the growth of Hitler's power.

In summer 2014, Scotland is hosting one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever staged. Featuring over 100 artists in 60 venues across the country, Generation shines a spotlight on one of the most phenomenal cultural stories of modern times - Scotland's transformation from a declining industrial powerhouse to an international centre of artistic creativity.

2014x184 From Auschwitz With Love

  • 2014-08-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A real life love story set against the backdrop of one of history's darkest chapters. Welshman Ron Jones takes an emotional journey back to Auschwitz, where he was held as a British prisoner of war. Now almost 100 years old, Ron shares his wartime experiences with presenter Joe Crowley. He talks about his friendship with a Jewish man called Joseph and his horror when he discovered that he'd been killed in the notorious gas chambers. And he remembers the regular home nations' football matches that took place alongside the Auschwitz prison camp. Even though the war had ripped them apart, it was the love of his childhood sweetheart Gwladys that kept Ron going. He wrote regular letters home to tell her how he longed to be back in her arms. Gwladys kept the letters in an old chocolate box. Reading them now, they tell a remarkable story of the couple's enduring love for each other as Europe descended into chaos.

Presenter and engineer Dick Strawbridge returns to Belfast to tell the story of one of the world's most important seaports. Using state of the art graphics, Dick charts the city's 400 year journey from humble sandbank, to the industrial powerhouse that made it the envy of the world.

In 1967 Martin Luther King came to Tyneside to be honoured for his civil rights campaigning. Lenny Henry tells the story of a unique visit-and its impact on the man and the people he met.

2014x187 My Lost Son

  • 2014-08-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Carol King Eckersley is probably the last mother to have found out that her child was killed when Pan Am 103 was bombed over Lockerbie in 1988. This powerful programme follows her journey to discover the last days and death of her son Ken Bissett, who she gave up for adoption at birth.

Compilation of BBC performances featuring some of the best axe men and women in rock 'n' roll.

Largely in his own words, Graham Chapman's wry and ribald recollections are brought to bizarre life with the help of a few friends and assorted animation teams.

The Scottish referendum debate has been almost entirely about Scotland - but what about the rest of the UK? Whatever the result, the UK as we have known it for the past 300 years is set to change dramatically, and may never be the same again

Jasmine Harman examines the destructive and often secretive condition that left unchecked can severely blight the lives of sufferers and their families - compulsive shopping.

2014x192 Match of the Day at 50

  • 2014-08-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

This documentary charts the history of the iconic Match of the Day TV programme and highlights its long-ingrained place at the heart of Saturday night television.

This documentary explores Kate Bush's career and music, from January 1978's Wuthering Heights to her 2011 album 50 Words for Snow, through the testimony of some of her key collaborators and those she has inspired.

2014x194 Mods and Rockers Rebooted

  • 2014-08-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

This documentary marks the 50th anniversary of the famous mods and rockers clashes on the seafronts of south east England. Mods And Rockers Rebooted will take a fresh look at the fights which took place between March and August 1964 causing mass hysteria across Britain, and have since become the stuff of legend. They’ve inspired countless books, songs, musicians, artists, and a cult movie, Quadrophenia, which turns 35 in August and has devoted fans all over the world. The BBC film will ask how much of what was reported at the time, and what was depicted in Quadrophenia, actually happened? Did the mods and the rockers really despise each other, or was there something else going on behind it all? To seek answers, and separate fact from fiction, the film, narrated by Quadrophenia star Phil Daniels, goes back to each location piecing together the events of 1964 in chronological order. It will reveal the real people behind the hard-hitting headlines, including interviews with mods and rockers who were there in 1964 (now in their 60s and 70s) taking them back to the seaside scenes of their crimes: Clacton, Margate, Brighton and Hastings. Finally, after 50 years of hype and hysteria, this film reveals what was really going on in 1964, and how an extraordinary mix of factors came together to create a compelling myth that endures to this day.

Comedian and history buff Al Murray is joined by historian Dan Snow, writer Natalie Haynes and broadcaster and film expert Matthew Sweet for a fresh look at a subject very close to his heart - the great British war movie. This roundtable discussion looks at both the films themselves, from A Bridge too Far to Zulu, and uses them as a lens on British history, cultural attitudes and our changing views on conflict over the decades. With dozens of clips from classic films such as Where Eagles Dare, The Dam Busters, In Which We Serve, Escape to Victory and The Eagle Has Landed, nostalgic memories of Bank Holiday afternoons in front of the telly and lashings of tea, rousing speeches and stiff upper lips, Al and his guests explore why the British are so obsessed with films about war - and what this says about us.

A tribute to Lord Richard Attenborough. Narrated by Alan Rickman with contributions from John Hurt, Ben Kingsley and more.

Blondie's album Parallel Lines captured the spirit of 1970s New York at a time of poverty, crime and an exploding artistic life, selling 16 million copies. This is the story of that album, that time and that city, told primarily by the seven individuals who wrote, produced and performed it. It was a calculated and painstaking endeavour to produce surefire hits - whatever it took. The film follows Debbie Harry and the rest of the Blondie crew as they head into the studio to record their game-changing album with producer Mike Chapman. It also features commentary from Harry herself about writing music, the media's focus on her appearance and lyrically inspirational ex-boyfriends. In 1978 the New York band Blondie had two punk albums behind them and were establishing a name for themselves at the club CBGBs on New York's Lower East Side. Then Chrysalis Records exec Terry Ellis saw them and spent a massive $1m buying out their recording contract. He had to ensure that their next album was a hit - there was no room for error. To do this he brought in maverick Australian record producer Mike Chapman, who already had a string of hits under his belt. Mike's job was to turn this crew of New York punks into world stars - but did they have the popular songs which would appeal to a wider non-punk audience? At a time when rich creativity and grinding poverty and drug abuse were hand in hand on the sidewalks of the Lower East Side, the music and lyrics of Parallel Lines celebrated and captured this vibrant and edgy chemistry, shooting the band to international stardom.

2014x198 Return to Betjemanland

  • 2014-09-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Thirty years ago, Sir John Betjeman died and was buried at St Enodoc Church, close to the village of Tribetherick in north Cornwall. To commemorate Betjeman's death the writer, critic and biographer of Betjeman, AN Wilson, visits the real and imagined places that shaped his life to reveal the life and work of the poet and broadcaster. Wilson explores how Betjeman came to speak to, and for, the nation in a remarkable way. As a poet Betjeman was writing popular verse for the many, not the few. With his brilliant documentaries for television, Betjeman entertained millions with infectious enthusiasm as he explained his many passions and bugbears. As a campaigner to preserve the national heritage, Betjeman was tireless in his devotion to conservation and preservation, fighting the planners, politicians and developers - railing against their abuse of power and money. Wilson investigates this by visiting locations in London, Oxford, Cornwall, Somerset and Berkshire. He travels through a landscape of beautiful houses and churches, beaches and seaside piers - a place that Wilson calls Betjemanland. In doing so he also reveals the complexity and contradictions of Betjeman - how Betjeman, the snob with a love of aristocrats and their country houses, is the same person who is thrilled by the more proletarian pleasures of the Great British seaside; how the poetry of Betjeman shows us that he is haunted by childhood memory, has religious faith but also doubt and is in thrall to love and infatuation; and how the man his friends called Betjeman was full of joie de vivre, but also suffered great melancholy and guilt whilst living an agonised double life.

2014x199 Egypt's Lost Queens

  • 2014-09-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Professor Joann Fletcher explores what it was like to be a woman of power in ancient Egypt. Through a wealth of spectacular buildings, personal artefacts and amazing tombs, Joann brings to life four of ancient Egypt's most powerful female rulers and discovers the remarkable influence wielded by women, whose power and freedom was unique in the ancient world. Throughout Egypt's history, women held the title of pharaoh no fewer than 15 times, and many other women played key roles in running the state and shaping every aspect of life. Joann Fletcher puts these influential women back at the heart of our understanding, revealing the other half of ancient Egypt.

2014x200 So You Think You Can Drive

  • 2014-09-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dom Littlewood and Cherry Healey transform the driving habits of two British motorists whose terrible driving is putting both themselves and the public at risk. Nominated by family members or friends, the two drivers will undergo tailor-made driver training leading up to a skills test.

Documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years, whilst trying to answer a set of basic questions that many people have about this often-baffling art form. How do we respond to abstract art when we see it? Is it supposed to be hard or easy? When abstract artists chuck paint about with abandon, what does it mean? Does abstract art stand for something or is it supposed to be understood as just itself? These might be thought of as unanswerable questions, but by looking at key historical figures and exploring the private world of abstract artists today, Collings shows that there are, in fact, answers. Living artists in the programme create art in front of the camera using techniques that seem outrageously free, but through his friendly-yet-probing interview style Collings immediately establishes that the work always has a firm rationale. When Collings visits 92-year-old Bert Irvin in his studio in Stepney, east London he finds that the colourful works continue experiments in perceptual ideas about colour and space first established by abstract art pioneers such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky in the 1910s. Other historic artists featured in the programme include the notorious Jackson Pollock, the maker of drip paintings, and Mark Rothko, whose abstractions often consist of nothing but large expanses of red. Collings explains the inner structure of such works. It turns out there are hidden rules to abstraction that viewers of this intriguing, groundbreaking programme may never have expected.

2014x202 Constable: A Country Rebel

  • 2014-07-09T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The Haywain by John Constable is such a comfortingly familiar image of rural Britain that it is difficult to believe it was ever regarded as a revolutionary painting, but in this film, made in conjunction with a landmark exhibition at the V&A, Alastair Sooke discovers that Constable was painting in a way that was completely new and groundbreaking at the time. Through experimentation and innovation he managed to make a sublime art from humble things and, though he struggled in his own country during his lifetime, his genius was surprisingly widely admired in France.

Abstract Artists in Their Own Words Documentary which unlocks the BBC archives to tell the story of abstract art in Britain through the words of some of its leading lights. From Barbara Hepworth's abstract geometric forms and Bridget Riley's op art imagery to Anthony Caro's bold new ideas about sculpture, the film reveals the remarkable and varied ways in which British artists explored the idea of abstraction in the 20th century. As well as offering insights into the ideas and working practices of some of Britain's most acclaimed artists, the film also documents the often-uncertain public response to abstract art and considers the legacy of the artists today. Featuring interviews with artists Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres, Tim Marlow of the Royal Academy, art historian James Fox, Iwona Blazwick from the Whitechapel gallery, Andrew Marr and Colm Toibin.

2014x204 Deep Purple: Made in Japan

  • 2014-09-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Deep Purple is one of the most influential and important guitar bands in history, one of the godfathers of the heavy metal genre, with over 100 million album sales worldwide to their name. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Deep Purple's groundbreaking double live album Made in Japan, this documentary explores these recordings and Deep Purple mark 2, the line-up between 1969 and 1973.

2014x205 Oscar Pistorius The Truth

  • 2014-09-15T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead on Valentines Day 2013 inside a toilet cubicle at Oscar Pistorius home. Pistorius insisted that he was innocent of the charge of premeditated murder, claiming he fired a gun in the mistaken belief that he was protecting both Reeva and himself against an intruder. The show follows a BBC team that flew to South Africa to talk to Reevas parents Barry and June Steenkamp as they prepared for the start of the trial in March 2014. Six months later as the trial reaches it's conclusion, Barry and June give their reaction to the judges verdict.

2014x206 Ireland's Lost Babies

  • 2014-09-17T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 2013 the movie Philomena was shown in cinemas across the world and earned four Oscar nominations. The film was based on the true story of Philomena Lee, who was forced by the Catholic Church to give up her illegitimate son for adoption, and detailed her journey with journalist Martin Sixsmith to find her child 50 years later. In the weeks and months after the film went out, Martin was contacted by other mothers who had their own stories to tell. Now, Martin Sixsmith goes on a journey to investigate the Irish Catholic Church's role in an adoption trade which saw thousands of illegitimate children taken from their mothers and sent abroad, often with donations to the Church flowing in the other direction. In Ireland and in America, Martin hears the moving stories of the parents and children whose lives were changed forever and discovers evidence that prospective parents were not properly vetted - sometimes with tragic consequences.

Yayoi Kusama is Japan's most successful living artist. The 85-year-old is famed for her polka-dot-covered artworks, but behind her colourful art lies a troubled and difficult past. The inspiration for Kusama's use of repetitive patterns comes from the hallucinations she has suffered since early childhood and for nearly 40 years she has lived in a psychiatric hospital, fighting, through painting, the daily urge to commit suicide. This film follows Kusama during the preparations for Tate Modern's 2012 retrospective of her work, when Kusama undertook the mammoth physical and mental challenge of creating 100 new works for the largest-ever exhibition of her art.

Documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years, whilst trying to answer a set of basic questions that many people have about this often-baffling art form. How do we respond to abstract art when we see it? Is it supposed to be hard or easy? When abstract artists chuck paint about with abandon, what does it mean? Does abstract art stand for something or is it supposed to be understood as just itself? These might be thought of as unanswerable questions, but by looking at key historical figures and exploring the private world of abstract artists today, Collings shows that there are, in fact, answers. Living artists in the programme create art in front of the camera using techniques that seem outrageously free, but through his friendly-yet-probing interview style Collings immediately establishes that the work always has a firm rationale. When Collings visits 92-year-old Bert Irvin in his studio in Stepney, east London he finds that the colourful works continue experiments in perceptual ideas about colour and space first established by abstract art pioneers such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky in the 1910s. Other historic artists featured in the programme include the notorious Jackson Pollock, the maker of drip paintings, and Mark Rothko, whose abstractions often consist of nothing but large expanses of red. Collings explains the inner structure of such works. It turns out there are hidden rules to abstraction that viewers of this intriguing, groundbreaking programme may never have expected.

The John Moores Painting Prize is one of the country's most prestigious art awards. Established over 50 years ago by Sir John Moores, the man behind the Littlewoods pools empire, past winners include David Hockney, Richard Hamilton and Peter Doig, while Sir Peter Blake, who won the junior section in 1961, is now the prize's patron. Alexei Sayle has followed the prize avidly since he was a child growing up in Liverpool and it even inspired him to train as a painter at Chelsea School of Art, before a career as a stand-up comedian beckoned. In this film, Alexei returns to Liverpool to follow the progress of the 2014 John Moores Painting Prize. He visits some of the shortlisted artists in their studios and talks to Sir Peter Blake, Jake Chapman and Peter Doig about the importance of the award and goes behind the scenes at this year's award ceremony.

2014x210 Swastika over Wales?

  • 2014-08-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

On a clear Autumn day in 1938, the Nazi flag was raised over Cardiff City Hall - a startling reminder of the respect, even admiration, that some in Wales felt towards Hitler. This story of political intrigue and espionage reveals how the Third Reich tried to exploit an ambivalence that stretched across the Welsh political spectrum. But ultimately the Germans' belief that they could recruit the Welsh to their cause would prove fatally damaging - not to Wales, but to the Nazis themselves.

2014x211 Paisley - A Life

  • 2014-09-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Charting the journey of Ian Paisley from rabble-rousing preacher and divisive demagogue to the man whose final deal with his lifelong enemies helped bring political stability to Northern Ireland.

2014x212 Cat Wars

  • 2014-09-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Cats are the most popular companion animals in the western world. In the UK their numbers have swollen to more than 10 million. This is great news for the cat lovers amongst us but for those who see Felis silvestris catus as nothing more than a garden pest, it can feel like an epidemic. Cat Wars meets those on both sides of the feline divide to find out what really gets people so worked up about the humble moggy. In Somerset, retiree Joe is desperately trying to defend his little corner of the world from fouling invaders. After years of trying to protect his prize vegetable patch, he is seeking help from Dave Jones, a self-professed expert in cat deterrents. Dave is armed with a plethora of gadgets, but will they work? In Beacon Heights, a community has become divided by an incumbent colony of feral cats. Half the residents want to evict the furry freeloaders, but the other half are becoming increasingly attached to their four-legged visitors. This difference of opinion will need to be resolved one way or another. In Southampton, Annie and her cat Buster are receiving house calls in the middle of the night from a mystery visitor, who is pinching Buster's dinner despite a state-of-the-art security cat flap. How is this possible? This BBC One documentary also meets some of the more fanatical cat owners out there, including Silvana and her 50 cats and Helen, who likes to take her prized pets for a stroll round the block in a baby buggy.

A unique amateur film provides the centrepiece of a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of Scotland's great landmarks, the Forth Road Bridge. The documentary traces the memories of the people who built the bridge, the biggest of its kind in Europe at the time, as well as those who ran the Forth ferries that stopped running when it opened in 1964.

Recorded in front of a passionate Glasgow crowd in the historic Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, the show features Frankie at his brilliant best doing stand-up, review, discussion and audience interaction - all in an attempt to make sense of the recent Referendum result.

2014x215 Who Won The War?

  • 2014-09-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Peter Taylor has been covering the conflict in Northern Ireland for more than 40 years. On the 20th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefires, he makes a personal assessment of who really 'won the war'.

2014x216 Genesis: Together and Apart

  • 2014-10-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A feature-length documentary about one of the most successful British bands in rock music, reuniting Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett to tell their story. The film recounts their extraordinary musical story, exploring the songwriting and the emotional highs and lows. It features previously unseen archive material and rare footage from across their entire career. It was broadcast on Showtime in the US and released on home video under the title 'Genesis: The Sum Of The Parts.'

2014x217 Road

  • 2014-10-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For two generations the Dunlop family from Northern Ireland has dominated motorcycle road racing. Narrated by Liam Neeson, this documentary is the dramatic, tragic and inspirational story of two sets of Dunlop brothers - Joey and Robert, William and Michael. Brothers united by success, and united by loss.

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in 1969, America went down in popular history as the winner of the space race. But that history is bunk. The real pioneers of space exploration were the Soviet cosmonauts. This remarkable feature-length documentary combines rare and unseen archive footage with interviews with the surviving cosmonauts to tell the fascinating and at times terrifying story of how the Russians led us into the space age. A particular highlight is Alexei Leonov, the man who performed the first spacewalk, explaining how he found himself trapped outside his spacecraft 500 miles above the Earth. Scary stuff.

2014x219 Strictly Navratri

  • 2014-10-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Former England cricketer and Strictly Come Dancing winner Mark Ramprakash learns and performs the traditional Indian folk dances which are a key part of the Hindu religious festival of Navratri. In the process, Mark learns more about the meaning behind the celebration.

First published to bring news from the trenches of World War One, the Sunday Post has become a Scottish icon and - according to the Guinness Book of Records - the most successful newspaper in the world. Narrated by Dundee's own Brian Cox, A Century of Scottish Sundays: 100 Years of the Sunday Post tells the story of this well-loved newspaper from the city of 'jute, jam and journalism'. Post columnists Lorraine Kelly, Ross King and Lesley Riddoch take part, along with celebrity readers like Alex Norton and John Michie. Lorraine describes her guest appearance in the Post's Oor Wullie cartoon as being even better than receiving her OBE! Sunday Post editor Donald Martin is in the spotlight, with cameras following him as he produces an edition. Donald is only the sixth editor in the Post's 100 year history - and his task is to embrace modernity and attract a new audience without alienating loyal readers.

2014x221 Ceasefire

  • 2014-09-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

On the 20th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefires in Northern Ireland, this documentary explores the background to those momentous events and the tragic human cost of the final months of the Troubles.

'Riding the Ridge' is a documentary following Scottish cycling star Danny MacAskill as he attempts to create an incredible new viral film on and around one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in Scotland, the Black Cuillin in Skye. Danny and his film crew spent ten days on the shoot, enduring long treks and tricky terrain, all in a bid to capture Danny performing in this most thrilling and challenging environment.

2014x223 The Spaceman of Afghanistan

  • 2014-10-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1988 the first and only Afghan astronaut, Ahad Momand, went into space. He spent a week on the Russian space station Mir and was welcomed back a hero. But civil war tore his country apart and Ahad fled with his family to Germany. A quarter of a century later, with his country still suffering violence, Ahad now wants to revisit his historic space mission. He travels first to Moscow, where he relives the joys and dangers of his flight, before returning to Afghanistan hoping to inspire a new generation of Afghans by telling his story once more.

Documentary following a team of maritime archaeologists as they uncover the remarkable city of Heracleion, lost to the sea and forgotten for over two thousand years. In the fading days of the pharaohs, the city of Heracleion was the gateway to Egypt and a port beyond compare. In the 4th century BC, this was an opulent and prosperous place adorned with statues and sphinxes. It was a city of religious significance and home to the temple of Amun. In the 2nd century BC it was wiped off the face of the earth. In a mysterious subsidence, the coastline dropped by over 20ft and Heracleion was consumed by the sea. The lost city slept for centuries beneath the waters of the Mediterranean. In 2000, archaeologists made an incredible find. Using ancient texts, they discovered the city's remains six kilometres off the Egyptian coast and only 10 metres underwater. Pristinely preserved, it is an archaeological jewel - an ancient Egyptian city frozen in time. The glorious temples, statues, houses and boats of the cities lie perfectly preserved by the sea, providing a snapshot of ancient Egyptian life. But many mysteries remain. What caused this sacred city to plunge into the sea? And why did its inhabitants deliberately sink over 65 ancient warships?

2014x225 Swap My Council House

  • 2014-10-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Swap My Council House charts the growing phenomenon of the mutual exchange - where social housing tenants simply swap their homes in order to move house. Since the introduction of the spare room subsidy or so-called bedroom tax last year, there has been a massive upsurge in the number of tenants needing to move. And many of them are resorting to swapping to downsize, upsize, or build a new life hundreds of miles away. But just how easy is it to swap? We follow five groups and families who are hoping to move, to reveal first hand the truth about home swapping. Devon cabbie Cheryl McCarthy and her family are about to complete a 300-mile swap from Plymouth to Eccles, Greater Manchester - she thinks Manchester will provide a better life for her children. Cheryl is swapping homes with Jeni Burdett and partner Keith Ainger who want to live closer to the sea. Claire Webb and her family are involved in a rather more complicated three-way swap. But will a faulty electrical inspection scupper the whole move? Some tenants live in homes no-one fancies swapping to. Francis Harris from Vange needs to downsize as a matter of urgency as she can't afford the spare room tax, but sadly there's no queue of potential swappers for Vange, a former mining village near Basildon. And former model and actress Jenny Rainbird, who wants to upsize to a two-bedroom in Wimbledon, is also stuck - her one-bed flat in leafy Epson is proving hard to swap - possibly because it's painted bright pink throughout. And while some tenants are stuck in seemingly unswappable homes, others can't stop swapping - we meet Jane Martin who has moved from one council house to another 18 times.

Icarus-like, Rembrandt flew ever higher towards the sun - the most successful artist in the richest city on earth, 17th-century Amsterdam. He lived like a prince and he loved living like a prince. But when his fall came - deep into bankruptcy and scandal, poverty and unfashionability - far from destroying him, it took him to new creative heights and a sense of humanity and the human condition that speaks more directly to us today than Rembrandt in his heyday. Simon Schama celebrates the masterpieces of the last years to coincide with the National Gallery's major exhibition on late Rembrandt.

As good as any Dickens novel, this is the triumphant and tragic story of the greatest architectural dynasty of the 19th century. Dan Cruickshank charts the rise of Sir George Gilbert Scott to the very heights of success, the fall of his son George Junior and the rise again of his grandson Giles It is a story of architects bent on a mission to rebuild Britain. From the Romantic heights of the Midland Hotel at St Pancras station to the modern image of Bankside power station (now Tate Modern), this is the story of a family that shaped the Victorian age and left a giant legacy.

For the first time, the inner secrets of the gunpowder plotters are dramatised using the actual words of their most senior captured leader Thomas Wintour, Guy Fawkes and state interrogators investigating the 18-month conspiracy in which a family circle of militant Catholic gentlemen tried to blow up King and Parliament. Wintour's insider account of this epic tale of faith, fanaticism, persecution and betrayal is told in detail, from his recruitment of both Fawkes and his own brother, to his capture in a dramatic siege and bloody shoot out on November 8th. The hopes, fears and plans for a Midlands rebellion, royal kidnap, the plotters' penetration of the King's bodyguard and Fawkes' attendance, sword in hand, at a wedding attended by the King in December 1604 are shown, as well as a dramatisation of the thrilling, forgotten story of the final days after 5/11 as the conspirators are hunted down and then face the terrible punishments reserved for traitors.

What killed King Tutankhamun? Ever since his spectacular tomb was discovered, the boy king has been the most famous pharaoh of all ancient Egypt. But his mysterious death, at just 19 years old, has never been explained. In this BBC One special, presenter Dallas Campbell reveals new scientific research and carries out unique experiments to get to the truth. For the first time, a virtual autopsy of Tut's mummified body reveals astonishing secrets about the pharaoh. Using CT scan data, the programme creates the first ever full size, scientifically accurate image of the real Tutankhamun. Brand new DNA analysis uncovers a shocking secret about Tut's family background, and the genetic trail of clues leads to a radical and revolutionary new theory to explain Tut's sudden and unexpected death. This is an epic detective story that uncovers the extraordinary truth of the boy behind the golden mask.

Medieval historian Dr Janina Ramirez looks back to a time when British craftsmen and their patrons created a new form of architecture. The art and architecture of France would dominate England for much of the medieval age. Yet British stone masons and builders would make Gothic architecture their own, inventing a national style for the first time - Perpendicular Gothic - and giving Britain a patriotic backdrop to suit its new ambitions of chivalry and power. From a grand debut at Gloucester Cathedral to commemorate a murdered king to its final glorious flowering at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, the Perpendicular age was Britain's finest.

2014x231 Baby P: The Untold Story

  • 2014-10-27T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Who failed Baby P? The social workers and a single doctor have taken the blame from the public and the press, but were there other professionals who might have saved Peter Connelly? And if so, why did we never hear about it? Featuring interviews with many people who've never discussed the story before, including Haringey's former head of children's services Sharon Shoesmith, Peter's social worker Maria Ward and Nasim O'Subhi, husband of the doctor who allegedly missed Peter's broken back, the film reveals the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring that pushed some professionals into the spotlight and left others hidden in the shadows.

2014x232 China's Billionaires' Club

  • 2014-10-25T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Leadership expert and the BBC's CEO Guru, Steve Tappin tells the story of an exclusive group of China's top entrepreneurs. They got together around a decade ago to try to help improve the image of the business community in a country where, not long ago, there was little in the way of a market economy. The result was the establishment of an exclusive club of 46 of the top business people in China, which counts billionaires like Jack Ma of Alibaba amongst its members. Through unique and revealing interviews with club members, this programme tells the story of how the first businesses in China were established after the economic reforms of the 1980s, and the challenges that China's first generation of innovators encountered on their path to success. What drove them to innovate, and what are their visions for their companies, their products, and their country?

2014x233 Spider House

  • 2014-10-29T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ever wondered what spiders really get up to in your home? In this Halloween special Alice Roberts overcomes her arachnophobia to enter a spider-filled house where an astonishing drama unfolds within its walls. Inside she meets entomologist Tim Cockerill, who loves spiders and quickly immerses Alice in the wonders of web building, the secrets of fly catching and the dangerous spider-eat-spider world they inhabit. Tim wants us to welcome spiders into our homes. Think of all the flies and unwanted insects they kill. He takes Alice on a macro-mystery tour of the rooms of the Spider House, revealing what goes on in the cracks and crannies of our homes. Why do we always find spiders in the bathroom? They seem to lie in wait in our bathtubs. And what happens if we flush them down the plughole? Using powerful macro-photography, Tim and Alice find out. In the dining room, they uncover the complex engineering behind the most beautifully constructed 'dinner plate' in the home - a spider's web. In the kitchen Alice witnesses the extraordinary hunting ability of the keen-eyed jumping spider, while Tim finds out how spiders kill their prey using venom. In the bedroom, the secrets of spider courtship are revealed. For spiders, mating is a high-stakes life-or-death game, where males risk being eaten by females. In the nursery, we enter an enchanting cocoon where tiny spiderlings struggle out of their exoskeletons - the first of many moults on the road to becoming adult spiders. Meanwhile, down in the cellar, we meet an unexpectedly voracious killer - the daddy longlegs. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with spiders. The rational side of Alice Roberts understands their benefits, but can she overcome her irrational fears? She faces the ultimate challenge: to spend the night alone... with the spiders... in Spider House.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss embarks on a chilling voyage through European horror cinema. From the silent nightmares of German Expressionism in the wake of World War I to lesbian vampires in 1970s Belgium, from the black-gloved killers of Italy's bloody Giallo thrillers to the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War, Mark reveals how Europe's turbulent 20th century forged its ground-breaking horror tradition. On a journey that spans the continent from Ostend to Slovakia, Mark explores classic filming locations and talks to the genre's leading talents, including directors Dario Argento and Guillermo del Toro.

2014x235 HMS Timbertown

  • 2014-10-09T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Angela MacLean brings us the untold story of HMS Timbertown where sailors from Lewis became prisoners of neutrality. After the fall of Antwerp in October 1914, 1,500 men from Winston Churchill's newly formed Royal Naval Divison crossed the border into the neutral Netherlands to evade capture from the German Army. Incredibly, 102 men from that number came from the Isle of Lewis. These men would be interned in a camp in the Netherlands for the duration of the war. For the first time, Angela MacLean retraces the journey they took through the fort at Antwerp, to the border crossing with the Netherlands and finally to the town of Groningen where wooden huts were built to house the men in a camp which became known as HMS Timbertown. Angela uncovers what life was like in the camp: from the highs of the football matches, to the lows of failed escape attempts and the reality of death.

2014x236 Sex, Love and Cwtches

  • 2014-10-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Showing as part of the BBC Wales Real Families season. Research suggests that we are having less sex than previous generations. This film sets out to find out what has changed. We look back over the last five decades to see what has shaped and defined our attitudes to sex and our sex lives to understand why now, in the 21st century, sex is losing its appeal. We meet experts and professionals, and take the 'tent of love' out onto the streets of Wales and invite the nation to share its experiences of sex, love and cwtches.

The greatest, spookiest, most productive literary house party in horror history is at the core of this lightning-lashed documentary. Actors re-create the dark, debauched summer of 1816 in a villa by Lake Geneva in Switzerland when Mary Godwin and Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and two of their friends drank, took drugs, had sex and wrote ghost stories.

Professor Brian Cox is joined by two of his heroes, the actor Brian Blessed and Professor Alice Roberts. On the agenda are his TV idols from both science fiction and science fact, as well as a whole universe of other stuff.

Lost Treasures of the Sikh Kingdom In the birthday week of the founder of Sikhism, TV auctioneer James Lewis tells the story of the lost treasures of the 19th-century maharajah, Ranjit Singh.

Film telling the story of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and the discoveries they made, told in their own words. Men and women who transformed our understanding of the universe, from unlocking the secrets of the atom to solving the mysteries of the cosmos. Revealing archive provides a unique insight into the lives and personalities of a cast of complex characters, eccentric geniuses and fantastic showmen who had to overcome personal struggles and intense rivalries before they could succeed. The film reveals the human side of scientific endeavour and shows how the great advances in our understanding of the cosmos depended on the character and personality of the scientists who made them, as much as on their intellectual abilities.

The late Jack Bruce fronted the 1960s supergroup Cream alongside Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker and has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Jimi Hendrix and from Lulu to Lou Reed. ArtWorks Scotland tells the story of his life, from childhood in Scotland to global superstardom, through some of Jack's favourite songs and with contributions from Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Adam Clayton of U2. The story encompasses some of the biggest riffs and rifts in rock, taking in family tragedy, drugs and near death. A specially chosen set of six songs mark crucial moments in Jack's life, including Cream's Sunshine of Your Love. Jack rerecorded the tracks with some of Scotland's finest musicians including folk trio Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboard player Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, his nephew Nico Bruce on bass and string ensemble Mr McFall's Chamber.

2014x242 Teenage Tommies

  • 2014-11-09T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In this moving tribute to the teenage heroes of the Great War, Fergal Keane unearths the most powerful stories of Britain's boy soldiers. With as many as 250,000 boys under the age of 18 having served in the British Army during World War I, and with every tenth volunteer lying about his age, Fergal looks to find out what made them enlist. Was it motivated by patriotism or the spirit of adventure? Fergal follows the children into the trenches to see how they coped with the reality of war. He explores how, as the casualties began to mount, a movement grew in Britain to get them home. Fergal also meets the children and grandchildren of these former boy solders, uncovering heartrending, but often uplifting, stories and taking them on an emotional journey to the places where their ancestors trained and fought.

This historical biography of the city that is the glittering hub of country music reveals the dynamic relationship between commerce and art, music and the market, that has defined Nashville since 1925. It explores the conflicts and demons that have confronted Nashville's artists and music industry down the years, such as the creative pressures of the 'Nashville Sound', the devastating impact of Elvis and then Bob Dylan, the rise and fall of the urban cowboys and the struggle of several Nashville legends to confront their inner demons. The story unfolds through the testimony of musicians, producers, broadcasters and rare archive of the country legends. These include Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson and several hitmaking contemporary stars, Kasey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean. This cast reveal the unique power of country music to hold up a mirror to its fans and create a music that has - for decades - touched the hearts of the South and of working people. Kristofferson calls it the 'white man's soul music'. Also featured are extensive musical performances by Nashville's greatest, from Johnny Cash to Loretta Lynn and George Jones to Garth Brooks. Several of Nashville's younger stars describe their ongoing journey from their hometowns in the South to the streets of this city, from the first studio demos and the sawdust of the Broadway bars to the stadiums and promo videos that now define country stardom.

2014x244 Britain and the Start of WW1

  • 2014-11-13T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Dan Snow recreates a map of Europe on the beach in Blackpool to reveal the geopolitics of the continent as it stood on the brink of World War I. The sequence of crises that took place can seem murky to the uninitiated. Time and the recriminations of the parties involved have combined to make the events that led to war seem ambiguous and confusing. Now, using remarkable sand art, Dan brings his clarity of style and presentation to the subject, shedding new light on our descent into the war and unravelling the reasons behind a conflict that is fast receding in our collective memory.

A rare chance to see Robert Elfstrom's 1969 classic film that captures the Man in Black at his peak, the first of many in a looming rollercoaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon. Elfstrom got closer than any other filmmaker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians - painting an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's death in 2003.

2014x246 Bob Harris: My Nashville

  • 2014-11-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

'Whispering' Bob Harris journeys to America's country music capital to reveal why Nashville became Music City USA. From the beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry on commercial radio, through the threatening onset of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, right up to the modern mainstream hits of Music Row, this is the story of how music has s