BBC Four Today Thursday 12 January 2023

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What’s On BBC Four Today Thursday 12 January 2023

A full run down of everything airing on BBC Four today.

Great British Railway Journeys


Michael Portillo catches a rare glimpse of Edwardian life on celluloid

In Blackburn, Michael Portillo catches a rare glimpse of Edwardian life on celluloid and marvels at how factory workers and schoolchildren alike were drawn to seek fame on film. Continuing east to Nelson, Michael braves the enemy camp to have a pint of tea with the socialist working classes in Britain’s last Clarion House

The Joy of Painting


Bob Ross paints an American south western mountain scene

Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents


The spy network that protected the queen

Documentary featuring dramatic reconstructions and interviews with historians to examine the network of spymasters and secret agents that helped protect Elizabeth I from assassination, terror and treason for more than 40 years. The first edition reveals how the pope’s declaration of Elizabeth as a heretic 12 years into her reign set England’s Catholics against her, leading the queen to charge William Cecil with the task of stopping assassins getting through, and the huge espionage network he established saw his spies break Catholic conspiracies at home and abroad


Thriller, starring Harrison Ford
1985 – Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller

Movie: Witness -

A Philadelphia cop is assigned to protect an Amish boy who was the only witness to a murder. Discovering the killers are rogue policemen willing to go to any lengths to cover up their crime, he is forced to go into hiding within the Amish community, experiencing a clash of cultures and unexpected feelings for the boy’s widowed mother. Thriller, directed by Peter Weir, with Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas and Danny Glover


Thriller, starring William Petersen
1986 – Crime, Horror, Thriller

Movie: Manhunter - 1985

A former FBI agent is coaxed out of retirement to track down a serial killer behind the slaughter of entire families. The detective needs an angle on the murderer’s psychology and the only way to get this insight is to face his nightmares and consult cannibalistic psychopath Dr Hannibal Lecktor in prison. Michael Mann’s thriller, based on Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon, with William Petersen, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Brian Cox and Joan Allen

Around the World in 80 Treasures


Japan and China

Dan Cruickshank’s journey takes him to Japan and China, where he aims to discover whether ancient traditions and mysteries have survived in the modern age

Great British Railway Journeys


Michael Portillo sets off on a trip through Britain’s industrial heartland

Armed with his early 20th century Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo sets off on the first leg of a trip through Britain’s industrial heartlands in the footsteps of George V, beginning by travelling from Warrington to Preston

A History of Britain by Simon Schama


From the Stone Age to the Battle of Hastings

Historian Simon Schama charts the 4,000 years prior to the 1000AD, from Stone Age Orkney and through four centuries of Roman occupation to King Alfred’s ultimate victory over the Vikings, which laid the foundations for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom later subjugated by the Norman invaders



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