A series of specially chosen light-hearted seasonal readings. 1: Christmas the Other Side of the Dale Written and read by Gervase Phinn. The school inspector drops in on some primary school nativity plays in north Yorkshire. Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall. Repeated at 12.30am.
Archaeologist Julian Richards reveals howto uncoverthe hidden history of a town through the streets and buildings of today. 4: Hereford. Richards crosses the racial divide of Saxon times, the River Wye, which separated England and Wales. Hereford's most famous map, the Mappa Mundi , provides a graphic guide to the medieval world. Producer John Byrne
A five-part dramatisation by Mike Scott of Norman Hunter 's tales about an archetypal absent-minded professor and his outlandish adventures.
1: The Time Machine. Professor Branestawm turns his extraordinary brain powers to the greatest problem of them all - can human beings travel through time? Featuring music by Sergei Prokofiev. Producer Bruce Hyman ; Director Dirk Maggs
Hidden gem: page 12
Nick Clarke is in the chairfor another round of cryptic connections and lateral thinking. This week the Midlands - Philippa Gregory and Brian J Ford -take on the South of England - Marcel Berlins and Fred Housego. Producer Paul Bajoria. Repeated Saturday llpm
By Anthony Green. The love of a good movie, Frank Capra 's It's a Wonderful Life, could become grounds for divorce as the season of good will approaches.
Producer/director Ned Chaillet
Jane Horrocks (the voice of Babs in Chicken Run) explores the cultural significance of the chicken.
The history of the hen, from its origins in the Asian jungles to its importance for Vikings and Victorians. The Romans reckoned they could tell the future by looking at chickens' entrails. Today we rely on the Sell-by date.
A celebration isn't complete without cake. This week's programme tucks into a variety of confections from around the world and explores why they are the centrepiece of so many special occasions. Extended repeat from yesterday 12.30pm
Another bout of the perennial antidote to panel games comes from the Old Vic Theatre in Bristol. Andy Hamilton joins regular team members Tim Brooke-Taylor , Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer , chairman Humphrey Lyttelton and pianist Colin Sell. Producer Jon Naismith. Repeated on Sunday
BBC RADIO COLLECTION: I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Volumes 1-6 are available on audio cassette at good retailers and www.bbcshop.com. Call [number removed]
Dramatised by John Fletcher.
1: Comfort Ye. In 1741, in a period of about three weeks, with refinements and additions made later, Handel composed his oratorio Messiah. This is the story of the events that inspired him and surrounded the composition of his masterwork and its first performance in Dublin in 1742. Each of the five episodes features one of the significant pieces from the oratorio.
Producer Marilyn Imrie. Director John Dove. Repeated from 10.45am
Jenny Cuffe follows the work of a teenage refugee from Afghanistan who runs a support network for other children and young people who've escaped to Britain. How difficult is itforthem to adapt to a new language and culture while coming to terms with the horrors of their past? Editor David Ross
Lucy Ash meets two remarkable individuals who are working to keep a thread of friendship alive between Israelis and Palestinians. Dr Izzeldeen Abuelaish is a Palestinian doctor who delivers Israeli babies. Hagit Raanan is a Jewish war widow who organises life-saving medical treatment for children from the Gaza Strip. The two have become allies in their efforts to uphold humane values.
Producer Hugh Levinson. Repeated from Thursday
2: Under the Cloak of Darkness. For many animals, being active at night is one way of escaping daytime predators. But hunting forfood at night requires sharpened senses, stealth and the skilled use of force. So wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson discovers on his trip Down Under when he finds himself staring into the jaws of a saltwater crocodile, encounters a snake in the dark and hears how some fancy footwork helps kangaroo rats keep their predators at bay. Producer Sarah Blunt
By Jerome K Jerome. Hugh Laurie reads the comic sequel to Three Men on a Boat. 1: George, Harris and J are in need of a change. A cycling tour of Germany seemsjust the ticket and promises the same mixture of adventure and misadventure that characterised their earlier expedition on the river. Abridged in five parts by Peter Everett. Producer Sara Davies
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