Showing results for your search filters

Making History

02/02/2010

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Vanessa Collingridge hears about a writing tablet from Roman Cumbria.

Vanessa Collingridge asks listeners to suggest objects that help tell A History of the World. Today a writing tablet from Roman Cumbria and an original blueprint for garden suburbs.

Vanessa Collingridge asks listeners to suggest objects that help tell A History Of The World. Today, a writing tablet from Roman Cumbria and the original blueprint for garden suburbs.

The Long View

The Big Flood of 1953

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Jonathan Freedland and his team goes on location to investigate the floods of 1953.

Jonathan Freedland presents and his team go on location to investigate the Big Flood of 1953, the worst natural disaster to affect Britain in the 20th century.

Jonathan Freedland presents the programme which looks at the past behind the present. As storms and floods continue to hit UK, Jonathan and his team go on location to investigate the Big Flood of 1953, the worst natural disaster to affect Britain in the 20th century. The clearest legacy of the 1953 flood was the Thames Barrage, safeguarding London from future inundations. He asks what lessons were learned in 1953 and what the future is for the nation's flood defences when government departments are under pressure to cut budgets.

Producer Neil McCarthy.

The Ideas That Make Us

Series 2 Episode 2: Comedy

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Bettany listens to a rat laughing and giggles at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia.

Bettany Hughes considers changing ideas of comedy by listening to a rat laughing and by giggling at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia. From January 2014.

Bettany Hughes considers changing ideas of comedy by listening to a rat laughing and by giggling at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia.

The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have shaped the human experience. In the second programme of this series, Bettany considers changing ideas of comedy with neuroscientist Dr Sophie Scott, Assyriologist Dr. Irving Finkel, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Gregory Doran, and comedian John Lloyd.

Other ideas examined in The Ideas that Make Us are idea, desire, agony, fame, justice, wisdom, liberty, hospitality and peace.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Making History

28/01/2014

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Helen Castor joins guests to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK.

Helen Castor is joined by guests to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK, including how Welsh might originally have been Spanish.

Helen Castor is joined by Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe from Oxford University and the military historian Dr Timothy Bowman from the University of Kent to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK - including how Welsh might originally have been Spanish.

Tom Holland is on the coast of North Wales, just south of Anglesey, with Professor John Koch from the University of Wales whose research on the language of the Celts is changing our understanding of how they arrived in Britain.

Dr Fiona Watson heads for Glasgow and a great fire in 1652 which helps us understand Cromwell's relationship with the city during the Civil War.

And in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, archaeologist Mike Gibbons explains how the recent storms have destroyed and revealed treasures from the past.

Contact the programme: making.history@bbc.co.uk

Producer: Nick Patrick

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The Ideas That Make Us

Series 2 Episode 3: Hospitality

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Bettany gazes into outer space and invites poet Ben Okri round to her house for supper.

Bettany Hughes samples changing ideas of hospitality by gazing into outer space and inviting poet and author Ben Okri round to her house for supper. From January 2014.

Bettany Hughes samples changing ideas of hospitality by gazing into outer space and by inviting poet and author Ben Okri 'round to her house for supper.

The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and shaped the human experience. In the third programme of this series, Bettany samples changing ideas of hospitality with astronomer Professor Didier Queloz, classicist Professor Paul Cartledge, poet and author Ben Okri and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Other ideas examined in The Ideas that Make Us are idea, desire, agony, fame, justice, wisdom, comedy, liberty and peace.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 2: 1974

BBC Two Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland logo
30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

A key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time. 1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time.

1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 3: 1981

BBC Two Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland logo
30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1981 - Whats-a-matter-you? DeLorean, the hunger strike and the Third Force.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time. 1981 - Whats-a-matter-you? DeLorean, the hunger strike and the Third Force.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 4: 1985

BBC Two Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland logo
30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. The Anglo-Irish agreement to Ulster Says No.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the chart hits of the time. 1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. The Anglo-Irish agreement to Ulster Says No.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time.

1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. From the Anglo-Irish agreement to the Ulster Says No campaign.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

The Essay

North East Free Thinkers Episode 5: Audience Choice

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Why the medieval monk the Venerable Bede is the great Free Thinker of the North East.

Professor Richard Gameson explains why BBC Newcastle and Radio 3 audiences voted the medieval monk and chronicler the Venerable Bede as the North East's greatest-ever Free Thinker.

As part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival 2009 BBC Newcastle and Radio 3 audiences voted the medieval monk and chronicler The Venerable Bede as the greatest Free Thinker in the history of the North East. Professor Richard Gameson of Durham University explains why he believes Bede was a natural choice, in a talk recorded in front of an audience at The Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas.

Witness

Taiwan - The 228 Incident

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

In early 1947, Chinese nationalist forces killed thousands of Taiwanese islanders.

In early 1947, Chinese nationalist forces led by Chiang Kai-Shek killed an estimated 20,000 Taiwanese islanders after protests in Taipei. Dr Chau Wu was a young boy at the time.

In early 1947, Chinese nationalist forces, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, killed an estimated twenty thousand Taiwanese islanders after protests in Taipei. The Chinese had taken control of the island at the end of WW2 after more than 50 years of Japanese rule. Dr Chau Wu was a young boy at the time of the killings.

Brand

Witness

King James Bible

The Story of the King James Bible Episode 1: The Commission

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
45 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

James Naughtie tells the story of how King James commissioned a new Bible translation.

James Naughtie visits Hampton Court to tell the story of how and why King James commissioned a translation of the Bible that has become our "national epic.".

The King James, or Authorised, Version of the Bible remains the most widely published text in the English language. It has been called the "noblest monument of English prose" and has been recognised for centuries as both a religious and literary classic.

In the first of three programmes marking the 400th anniversary of its publication, James Naughtie tells the story of how and why King James VI of Scotland and I of England decided on a new translation of the Bible.

The programme is recorded at Hampton Court Palace. A conference here in early 1604 led to the commissioning of the King James Version. The Chief Curator at the palace, Lucy Worsley and James Naughtie walk the palace grounds, scene of so much Tudor and Stuart frivolity, and a refuge from the plague. Before the earnestness of the January conference there had been masques and feasting and Shakespearean drama. England was still revelling in its new monarch after the stultifying later years of Elizabeth's reign and breathing a sigh of relief that the accession had been a smooth one.

The Chapel Royal provides a fitting setting for James to discuss the position of the monarchy in Jacobean England with Professor Pauline Croft. The King sat in the Royal Pew, high above his bishops and clergy. James had written about his ideas of divine kingship in "Basilikon Doron," addressed to his young son.

In The Great Watching Chamber we hear about the religious background to James' reign. Elizabeth's death had lifted the lid on the tensions between the godly (Puritans) and the conformists (Anglican bishops). The godly had presented a petition to James on his journey from Scotland to London demanding the end to religious practices they found beyond the pale; wearing vestments, making the sign of the cross, the exchange of wedding rings, the power of the bishops. It was to address these concerns that James had called the conference.

We follow in the footsteps of the conference delegates through the palace and into the Kings state apartments. James Naughtie learns about the key characters at the conference - the pugnacious puritan-basher Bishop of London, Richard Bancroft, the great preacher and conformist Lancelot Andrewes and the leader of the Puritan delegation, John Rainolds. The Puritans had a delicate line to pursue, criticising the establishment and the episcopacy without undermining royal supremacy. But James was having none of it - "No Bishops, no King!" It was an ill tempered conference, with James harrying the protagonists on both sides. He was a brilliant theologian himself, and in him some of the most learned men in the country met their match.

The suggestion for a new translation of the Bible was made by John Rainolds. He was hoping to undermine the authorised Bishops Bible and elevate the Geneva version favoured by Puritans. James acceded to the request because he agreed that all the various translations on offer had their faults. A victory for Rainolds? Not so. James singled out the Geneva Bible, with its controversial marginal notes, as the worst of them all.

After the conference, Bancroft drew up the rules for translation, had them approved by the king, and brought together six companies of translators based in Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster.

Work began at once. Barely a year later the Gunpowder Plot traumatised England. It turned out to be one of James' finest moments as a statesman, and it gave impetus to his vision of a new translation of the Bible that could unite the country's church and people.

Producer: Rosie Dawson.

King James Bible

The Story of the King James Bible Episode 2: The Translation

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
45 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

James Naughtie on how a committee of Bible translators produced a "national epic.".

James Naughtie tells the story of how a committee of Bible translators produced a great work of English literature.

In the second of two programmes marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, James Naughtie tells the story of how six companies of men produced a new translation of Bible which has come to be regarded as one of the greatest works of English literature ever produced.

The programme opens in the main quadrangle of the Bodleian library. A statue of King James stands high over the courtyard, books in hand. The King loved the Bodleian. In a visit there in 1605 he said that he would love to spend his life chained alongside the library's chained books.

The translators in London, Cambridge and Oxford drew on several earlier translations of the Bible as they went about their work. In the chapel at Hertford college, Oxford, Jim sees a stained glass window of William Tyndale, the first man to translate the Bible into English directly from Hebrew and Greek. The translators drew heavily on his work. Many of the phrases that come to mind when we think of the King James Bible are in fact those of Tyndale. The translators had several other Bible translations at their disposal too. Each had their own agenda; the Great Bible with its frontispiece depicting the idea of Royal Supremacy; the Puritans' Geneva Bible which challenged that very idea.

One of the Oxford companies of translators worked in the Tower room at Corpus Christi college. It looks much as it did in the 17th century with the crests of the Oxford colleges embossed around the ceiling and wooden panelling. This was the room of John Rainolds, the college president and one of the "godly." It was Rainolds who as head of the Puritan faction had initiated the new translation at the Hampton court conference. The company met there because Rainolds suffered from gout. He died in 1607 - but most of his company's work was already complete.

James is shown two extraordinary documents which reveal how the translators worked. One, a 1602 copy of the Bishops Bible, contains annotations made by the scholars suggesting alternative translations. The other is a copy of notes made by one which reveals the mind of the revision committee which met to review the translations of all the companies.

James Naughtie goes to Stationers Hall in London where that revision committee met. It's here that the King James Bible would have been read out loud for the first time. As James hears the opening words from Genesis, he reflects on the achievement of the translators in giving a version of the Bible which has come to be our "national epic.".

Sunday Feature

China's Museum-Building Boom

BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 logo
45 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Isabel Hilton reports from China on the current boom in museum building.

Isabel Hilton reports from China on the boom in museum building and on the presentation of history. What story does one of the world's most ambitious new museums in Sichuan tell?

Isabel Hilton reports from China on the recent boom in museum building and on a growing interest in contemporary history. As people make more money and find more leisure time so China's cities have hurried to build more museums - a dramatic turnaround over the past 30 years. History itself is becoming the subject of a new breed of museums around the country, many of them privately owned. But what sort of history is being told here?

Isabel visits one of the world's most ambitious new museums, a huge cluster of museums built on a former army base in Sichuan by a local millionaire, Fan Jianchuan. Here some of the big topics of the 20th Century are up for re-evaluation including some, like the Cultural Revolution, that were previously considered highly sensitive. Isabel describes the impact of the 8-10 million objects from China's recent troubled past that are going on display in Sichuan and considers China's shifting relationship with its history and the way that it is displayed, taught and remembered in the popular imagination.

Producer: Anthony Denselow

First broadcast in January 2011.

The Long March

Episode 2: The Battle of Luding Bridge

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Ed Stourton finds out if the Battle of Luding Bridge lives up to its mythical status.

The Battle of Luding Bridge is a key moment in the history of the Long March. Edward Stourton talks to witnesses of the battle to find out if it lives up to its mythical status.

Mao Zehdong understood very early the value of the Long March as propaganda. Shortly after it ended he wrote "The Long March is a manifesto. It has proclaimed to the world that the Red Army is an army of heroes, while the imperialists and their running dogs, Chiang Kai-shek and his like, are impotent. The Long March is also a propaganda force. It has announced to some 200 million people that the road of the Red Army is their only road to liberation."

Mao was so successful in manipulating the image of the Long March that it very quickly became a common phrase in English. Our second programme starts at the Luding Bridge, the site of one of the most celebrated battles of the whole march. The legend has it that the Nationalists had removed all the planks leaving Mao's army stranded and cornered on one side of the high gorge. But Red Army volunteers, under heavy fire, went hand over hand along the chains to establish a bridge head on the other side saving the day. Edward Stourton talks to witnesses of the battle to find out if it lives up to its mythological status. He also hears more first hand accounts of the suffering of the marchers and the ruthless determination it took to survive. On some sections people were so hungry they gathered undigested grains from the faeces of those who'd gone before to wash and eat again. We'll also tell the story of Mao's secret daughter - his wife, like other women who gave birth on the March, was forced to leave her child behind - mystery still surrounds the fate of the little girl who was left with a peasant family.

Producer: Phil Pegum.

Witness

Tunnelling Under the Berlin Wall

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

In 1964 a group of West German students helped more than 50 people escape from East Berlin

In 1964, a group of West German students helped more than 50 people escape from East Berlin through a tunnel that they had dug under the Berlin Wall.

In 1964 a group of West German students helped more than 50 people escape from East Berlin through a tunnel that they had dug under the Berlin Wall. Joachim Neumann and Ralph Kabisch were two of the students who did the digging - Joachim's wife Christa was one of the people they helped to flee.

Brand

Witness

The Ideas That Make Us

Series 2 Episode 1: Liberty

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Bettany Hughes examines changing ideas of liberty in her archaeology of philosophy.

Bettany Hughes examines changing ideas of liberty by allowing a neuroscientist to take control of her brain and by perusing the pornography of the French Revolution. From Jan 2014.

Bettany Hughes examines changing ideas of liberty by allowing a neuroscientist to take control of her brain and by perusing the pornography of the French Revolution.

The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have shaped the human experience. In the first programme of this series, Bettany examines changing ideas of liberty with neuroscientist Professor Patrick Haggard, classicist Professor Paul Cartledge, historian Dr. Stephen Pigney and Ruth Porter from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Other ideas examined in this series are comedy, hospitality, wisdom and peace.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Witness

The Battle of the Carmens

BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 logo
15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

At the 1988 Winter Olympics, an East German and an American ice dancer were vying for Gold

At the 1988 Winter Olympics an East German, Katarina Witt, and an American, Debi Thomas, were vying for Gold in the ice dance competition. They were both dancing to the same tune.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, an East German, Katarina Witt, and an American, Debi Thomas, were vying for Gold in the ice dance competition. It was portrayed as a clash between East and West. Completely by chance they were both dancing to the same music, Bizet's opera, Carmen.

Brand

Witness
BBC Radio 4 Extra
BBC Radio 4 Extra logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Rhona Cameron celebrates the bi-centenary of the earliest known women's golf competition

Rhona Cameron explores the earliest known women's golf competition - between the fishwives of Musselburgh. From 2011.

Marking the bi-centenary of the first ever women's golf tournament, Rhona Cameron plays a round at Musselburgh, both the scene of that historic competition and also her home course.

Records show that during the 19th century a women's golf competition was held annually on New Years Day among the fishwives of Musselburgh. The earliest known reference to an open womens' golf competition at Musselburgh dates from 9th January 1811.

To ensure a bumper entry from the hard-working women of the fishing community the winner's prize was a 'creel' and a 'skull' (the headdress and basket used to carry fish). The consolation prizes were 'two fine silk handkerchiefs from Barcelona'.

Musselburgh Links is the site of the oldest remaining golf course in the world. This nine-hole course is a relic from the 'cradle of golf' and remains as a testimony to what was the centre of Scottish golf during its greatest era. The course itself is fascinating. Unexpectedly it's on the infield of a race course, slap-bang in the middle of a horse racing track.

Born and raised in Musselburgh, keen golfer Rhona Cameron will be playing a round on the famous course, whilst exploring the history of this famous game and considering the origins of women's golf more generally.

Producer: Kevin Dawson

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in August 2011.

The History Hour

The Good Friday Agreement

BBC World Service
BBC World Service logo
50 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Peace in Northern Ireland; a cross-community Bosnian choir and a pioneering woman banker.

In 1998, the political parties in Northern Ireland reached a peace agreement that ended decades of war. We hear from Paul Murphy, the junior minister for Northern Ireland at the time. Plus, a cross-community choir in Bosnia and women pioneers from the worlds of finance and oceanography.

PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) pose with the mediator

The History Hour

The Zimbabwe Massacres

BBC World Service
BBC World Service logo
51 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Robert Mugabe sent troops to put down opposition supporters in western Zimbabwe in 1983.

Robert Mugabe's brutal crackdown on the opposition in the 1980s, a mass expulsion of Soviet spies from Britain in the 1970's and the working class film revolution of the 1960's.

In this week's episode, Robert Mugabe's brutal crack down on the opposition in the 1980s, a mass expulsion of Soviet spies from Britain in the 1970's and the working class film revolution of the 1960's. Plus the first frozen embryo and the death of a German student leader that sparked huge demonstrations.

(Photo: Robert Mugabe. Getty Images)

Search Help.

To find all currently available programmes, do a completely empty search.

To find something specific, add your search term and hit enter. Optionally, combine your query with a variety of filters to narrow your results. You can also search by using just the filters and an empty search box.

Using Search Filters.

Media Type filter:
Limit your search to either TV or radio using the radio buttons. Results will show both by default.
Genre Accessibility and Availability filters:
Add or exclude search terms using the add and exclude filter icons.

When you've chosen your filters, hit enter or use the 'Apply Filters' button.

Once a search is returned, add or exclude further terms from the results page and search again. Search results can be reordered by:

  • first or last brodcast dates,
  • availability ending soon,
  • relevance.

Find out more about BBC Programme Explorer