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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2010

Episode 1: Why Elephants Can't Dance

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Dr Mark Miodownik explains how scientists have pieced together some of the physical rules that govern the strength, lifespan and dance moves of animals. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2010

Episode 2: Why Chocolate Melts and Jet Engines Don't

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Mark Miodownik zooms into the microscopic world beneath our fingertips and reveals how this world can make objects behave like magic. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2010

Episode 3: Why Mountains Are So Small

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Mark Miodownik investigates the world of the very big and very tall. He reveals that, at this scale, everything is governed by a battle with gravity. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2019: Secrets & Lies - The Hidden Power of Maths

How to Bend the Rules

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Dr Hannah Fry reveals how data-gobbling algorithms have taken over our lives and now control almost everything we do, without us even realising. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2019: Secrets & Lies - The Hidden Power of Maths

How to Get Lucky

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Dr Hannah Fry, through a host of live experiments, uncovers the secrets of luck to discover what really controls our destiny, from dodging erupting volcanoes to pulling Christmas crackers. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2019: Secrets & Lies - The Hidden Power of Maths

How Can We All Win?

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Dr Hannah Fry tests the limits of our control, from gravity-defying stunts to human-sized drones, and delves into the world of fake news to separate the truth from the lies. Show more

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Four HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for years

The story of quantum entanglement, perhaps the strangest concept in science. Mind-bending concepts and brilliant experiments lead us to a profound new understanding of reality. Show more

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC ThreeLatest broadcast: on BBC One Wales

Alex Lewis has bone cancer and may not have long to live. He decides to cram as much life as possible into the time he has left, but what he really wants is to fall in love. Show more

Contributors

Director:
David Dugan
Director:
David Dugan
Producer:
David Dugan
Producer:
David Dugan

Duration: 1 hour, 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Four HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Alice Roberts overcomes her arachnophobia to enter a spider-filled house, where entomologist Tim Cockerill immerses her in the wonders of web-building and fly-catching. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Alice Roberts
Presenter:
Tim Cockerill
Producer:
Clare Stronge
Director:
Clare Stronge
Producer:
Tom Cook
Director:
Tom Cook
Executive Producer:
David Dugan

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2013: Life Fantastic

Episode 1: Where Do I Come From?

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Alison Woollard reveals how the transformation from a single cell into a walking, talking, multi-trillion-celled organism we call the human body takes place. Show more

Your Inner Fish: An Evolution Story

Episode 3: Your Inner Monkey

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Tracking our hands, feet, colour vision, spine and upright gait to our primate and hominid progenitors, who also passed on the legacy of a path to the human brain. Show more

Your Inner Fish: An Evolution Story

Episode 2: Your Inner Reptile

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Neil Shubin reveals how our bodies are the legacy of ancient animals. This episode traces our hair, skin, teeth, jaws and sense of hearing back to reptiles. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2013: Life Fantastic

Episode 2: Am I a Mutant?

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Dr Alison Woollard unravels the mystery of why evolution by natural selection has given such stunning diversity on our planet - the answer being by genetic mutation. Show more

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2013: Life Fantastic

Episode 3: Could I Live Forever?

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Dr Alison Woollard looks at why we die and how 'cell death' enables the development and survival of most multi-celled organisms from hedgehogs to humans. Show more

Natural World

2017-2018

Episode 1: Puerto Rico: Island of Enchantment

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales

Available for 1 day

David Attenborough tells the story of the island's exotic but vulnerable wildlife. A team of conservation champions are making it their mission to save the most precious species. Show more

Contributors

Director:
Peter Fison
Director of photography:
George Woodcock
Production Manager:
Marie Coyne
Re-recording mixer:
Wounded Buffalo Sound Studio
Aerial Photographer:
Airlenspr
Graphic Designer:
Blair Harrower
Executive Producer:
David Dugan
Production Coordinator:
Cassy Walkling
Production Coordinator:
Joanna Manley
Production Manager:
Helena Berglund
Production Manager:
Pauline Gates
Series Editor:
Roger Webb
Production Company:
Windfall Films

Duration: 1 hour, 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 26 days

Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts follow five suburban gardens over a year, uncovering hidden wildlife dramas, and a vast cast of creatures battling for survival. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Chris Packham
Production Company:
Windfall Films
Expert:
Dawn Scott
Expert:
Steph West
Expert:
Mat Disney
Producer:
Tom Cook
Director:
Tom Cook
Executive Producer:
David Dugan
Director of photography:
George Woodcock
Production Manager:
Eva Robins
Production Manager:
Mel Moore
Production Manager:
Pete Youens

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 4 months

The astonishing tale of how scientists have battled against the odds to detect and decode the neutrino - the strangest, most elusive particle in the universe. Show more

Contributors

Producer:
Henry Fraser
Executive Producer:
David Dugan

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 7 months

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam is joined by leading experts to unlock the science of vaccines, variants and viral genetic codes. Show more

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One HDLatest broadcast: on BBC One Scotland HD

Available for years

Sir David Attenborough joins archaeologists excavating mammoth remains near Swindon to discover whether Neanderthals might have killed the Ice Age beasts. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Ben Garrod
Executive Producer:
David Dugan
Production Company:
Windfall Films

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

2016: Supercharged - Fuelling the Future

Episode 2: People Power

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Saiful Islam investigates how humans as living machines actually use energy, asking whether it's possible to 'supercharge' the human body and increase its performance. Show more