BBC FOUR is a British television channel operated by the British
Broadcasting Corporation and available to digital television viewers
on Freeview ,
IPTV , satellite , and cable .
BBC Four launched on 2 March 2002, with a schedule running from
19:00 to 04:00. The channel shows "a wide variety of programmes
including comedy, documentaries, music, international film, original
programmes, drama and current affairs ... an alternative to programmes
on the mainstream TV channels". It is required by its licence to
broadcast at least 100 hours of new arts and music programmes, 110
hours of new factual programmes and to premiere twenty international
films each year.
* 1 History
* 2 Organisation
BBC Four HD
* 4 Programming
* 5 Programmes
* 5.1 Original programming
* 5.2 Imports
* 5.3 Domestic repeats
* 5.4 Films
* 5.5 Music concerts
* 5.6 Classics (shown in 2007 and 2015)
* 6 Presentation
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
BBC Four launched on 2 March 2002 at 19:00 GMT , having been delayed
from the original planned 2001 launch.
BBC Four began originally as a
late schedule to
BBC Two, before it received its own channel, along
BBC Three . Curiously,
BBC Four had to launch before
BBC Three as
a result of the government delaying approval plans. The channel
BBC Knowledge , an educational and cultural channel which had
undergone many changes throughout its lifetime; in its final format it
carried a schedule of documentaries and art programming, essentially a
test of the new
BBC Four schedule.
BBC Four would rebrand this
channel, and bring it into line with the well recognised
BBC One and
Two brands at the same time. Planning for the new channel, along with
BBC Three , had been in progress since October 2000; however,
the incumbent government delayed approving the new
BBC digital plans.
BBC Four plans were approved earlier, and as a result launched
BBC Four was different from the old
BBC Knowledge: the channel would
be more heavily promoted with more new and original programming and
the channel would not be broadcast 24 hours a day. This was because on
the Freeview digital terrestrial platform,
BBC Four is broadcast in a
statistically multiplexed stream in Multiplex B that timeshares with
CBeebies channel (which is on air from 06:00 until 19:00). As a
BBC Four broadcasts from 19:00 to around 04:00 each night,
with an hour's down-time and promotions for
CBeebies before the start
of that channel's schedule.
On 12 May 2011,
BBC Four was added to the Sky EPG in the Republic of
Ireland on channel 230. It later moved to EPG 211 to free up space for
BBC Four forms part of the
BBC Vision group, and as a result, the
channel controller is answerable to the head of this executive
department: Emma Swain, as of 2012. The channel direction is
determined by the channel's remit, set by royal charter and the
corporation's governing body (the
BBC Trust ), and by the channel
controller. In October 2013, following the departure of Richard Klein
from the controllership, the management of the channel changed, with
the role of Controller of
BBC Four scrapped: from this point the
BBC Two would have ultimate oversight of
BBC Four as
part of their role, absorbing some of the former duties of the
BBC Four, but a new 'Channel Editor' post, reporting up
to this controller, would be created to take day-to-day charge of
Four. The controllers of
BBC Four from 2002-2016 have been:
* 2008–2013: Richard Klein
Janice Hadlow (as Controller of
BBC Two and
"on an interim basis" - Hadlow had been Controller of
BBC Two since
BBC Four in 2008
* Early 2014: Adam Barker (interim Controller of
BBC Two and BBC
Four following Janice Hadlow's departure to a new post)
Kim Shillinglaw (as Controller of
BBC Two and BBC
Channel Editors of
BBC Four have been:
* 2013–present: Cassian Harrison
BBC Four has an annual budget of £54.3 million.
On 20 January 2016,
Kim Shillinglaw announced that she had decided to
BBC as the Controller of
BBC Two ">
BBC Four HD logo.
On 16 July 2013, the
BBC announced that a high-definition (HD)
BBC Four would be launched by early 2014. The channel
launched on 10 December 2013, and rolled out nationwide up to June
2014 (as will
BBC News HD and
CBeebies HD ). The channel broadcasts
on the BBC's new HD multiplex on Freeview and shares its stream with
CBeebies HD as they both air at different times. Prior to launch, the
BBC Four's HD output was broadcast on the
BBC HD channel
before its closure on 26 March 2013.
Main article: List of programmes broadcast by the
BBC Four's primary role is to reflect a range of UK and international
arts, music and culture. It should provide an ambitious range of
innovative, high quality programming that is intellectually and
culturally enriching, taking an expert and in-depth approach to a wide
range of subjects. —
BBC FOUR REMIT
BBC Four share of
The first evening's
BBC Four programmes were simulcast on
BBC Two .
BBC Four is notable for first showing
Larry David 's Seinfeld
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb Your Enthusiasm ,
Armando Iannucci 's cutting
political satire ,
The Thick of It , The Chaser\'s War on Everything ,
Flight of the Conchords ,
Mad Men and Danish thriller The Killing .
The channel broadcasts a mixture of art and science documentaries ,
vintage drama (including many rare black-and-white programmes), and
non-English language productions such as films from the Artificial Eye
catalogue, the French thriller Spiral and the Swedish detective series
BBC Four further supports foreign language films with its
annual World Cinema Award which has been running since 2004.
On weekdays at 19:00 and weekends at 21:00, the channel shows a
30-minute global news programme called 100 Days + Monday–Thursday or
an edition of
World News Today Friday-Sunday, simulcast with and
BBC World News . Once 100 Days + ends it thought it will
revert to World News Today. It screens a number of documentaries such
The Century of the Self and
The Trials of Henry Kissinger . The
channel is also home to many political travel shows such as Holidays
in the Axis of Evil which features investigative journalism.
Drama has given the channel some of its most popular programmes, with
Alan Clark Diaries (2003) and Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!
(2006) being among the highest rated, with over 800,000 viewers. The
highly acclaimed Hattie , broadcast in 2011, holds the record for
BBC4's best ever consolidated ratings of 2m / 8%. Before that The
Curse of Steptoe brought the channel its highest audience figures,
estimated as 1.41 million viewers, a 7% share of multichannel
audiences between 21:00 and 22:05, based on overnight returns. The
official audience figures for the broadcast, including time-shifting,
were later published as 1,625,000. Another notable production was a
live re-make of the 1953 science-fiction serial The Quatermass
Experiment , adapted from the original scripts into a single, two-hour
version (though on the night it, in fact, underran considerably,
lasting less than 1 hour 40 minutes), broadcast on the evening of
Saturday 2 April 2005. Discounting
BBC Four's previous live relays of
Shakespeare productions, this was the first live
made-for-television drama to be broadcast by the
BBC for twenty years.
Another notable programme broadcast on
BBC Four is Charlie Brooker\'s
Screenwipe which contains reviews of current shows, as well as stories
and commentary on how television is produced. The show is presented by
Charlie Brooker .
The channel is also curator and leader of the
BBC Archive project
whose aim is that the BBC's television archive is re-broadcast as much
as appropriate so that the Archive can be enjoyed again and not
Some output from
BBC Four (documentaries rather than foreign films)
was for a time repeated on
BBC Two in a '
BBC Four on Two' branded
area, although this was often in a late night broadcast slot after
Newsnight and has since been discontinued.
BARB the comedy panel game QI has the highest ratings of
any show on
Edinburgh International Television Festival ,
BBC Four won the
Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year award in 2004, 2006 and 2012.
In 2012 Dirk Gently became the first continuing drama series produced
for the channel.
BBC Four is occasionally used to show live sports coverage. The
channel aired additional games from the
UEFA Euro 2016 football
tournament, and temporarily extended its broadcast hours to show live
action from the
2016 Summer Olympics .
Art of Cornwall
* The Ballad of Mott the Hoople
BBC Four Sessions
* Birds Britania
* Britain by Bike
* Britain\'s Best Drives
* Can Eating Insects Save the World
* Charlie Brooker\'s Screenwipe
* Children's TV Trials
* Churches: How To Read Them
The Curse of Steptoe
Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters
* Dirk Gently
* Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency
* The First World War
* Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster
* Free Will and Testament: The Robert Wyatt Story
BBC Television Centre
* The Great War
* HG Wells: War with the World
* How to Build a Dinosaur
* If Walls Could Talk
* Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City
* Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie
* Racing at the BBC
* The Secret Life of Ice
* Shock and Awe: The Life of Electricity
* Singer-Songwriters at the BBC
* Sings the...
The Life of Rock with Brian Pern
* The Story of Musicals
* The Story of the National Grid
* Survivors: Nature\'s Indestructible Creatures
* Talking Children
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird at 50
* Walter\'s War
World News Today (simulcast on
BBC Four and
BBC World News
weekdays at 19:00; temporaily replaced by 100 Days +)
* Arne Dahl
* The Bridge
* Inspector De Luca
* Inspector Montalbano
* The Killing
* The Money
* All Creatures Great and Small
* The Bear Family and Me
Blue Peter (Classics only)
The Blue Planet
Climbing Great Buildings
Doctor Who (the Classic Series)
Ever Decreasing Circles
The Frozen Planet
* The Good Life
Great British Railway Journeys
* I, Claudius
Last of the Summer Wine
* The Life and Loves of a She-Devil
The Life of Mammals
The Likely Lads
* Monty Python\'s Flying Circus
The Onedin Line
* Planet Earth
Pride and Prejudice
The Sky at Night
Tales of Beatrix Potter
Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops
* Waking the Dead
Walking with Beasts
Walking with Dinosaurs
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?
* Yes, Prime Minister
* The Young Ones
* The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The Brides of Dracula
Carry On Loving
* Cloud 9
The Curse of Frankenstein
* King Kong
* The Lady Vanishes
* The Man Who Knew Too Much
* Monty Python\'s Life of Brian
* South Pacific
* The Swarm
The Thirty-Nine Steps
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
BBC Radio 1\'s Big Weekend (from 2016)
* Coldplay Live
Live in Gdansk (part of
David Gilmour Night)
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals (from 2016)
* Madness Live (part of Goodbye Television Centre)
* Queen 1975 Live
CLASSICS (SHOWN IN 2007 AND 2015)
* The Avengers
* Grange Hill
The Magic Roundabout
* Play School
BBC Four idents and History of
BBC television idents
The channel's initial series of idents were generated dynamically
reflecting the frequencies of the continuity announcers' voice or of
backing music and were designed by
Lambie-Nairn . As a result, no two
idents were ever the same. The first continuity announcer was Zeb
When the channel first started airing, it used the slogan "Everyone
Needs A Place To Think", but the
BBC stopped using this several months
after the launch. However the
BBC Four logo and above slogan can be
found, engraved on benches along the
South Bank in London, between the
London Eye and
Waterloo Bridge .
On 10 September 2005, the channel began showing new idents comprising
BBC Four logo surrounded by four quadrants which show
different stages of the same footage thus making for a sort of optical
illusion; for example, a swimming pool where a person on an inflatable
ring appears in the bottom-left corner, though ripples don't enter the
remaining quarters. Although the image appears as one at the start of
the ident, by the end it is clearly four separate images.
BBC Channels (UK)
List of documentary channels
BBC Four World Cinema Award
List of television stations in the United Kingdom
* ^ A B "Culture, controversy and cutting edge documentary: BBC
FOUR prepares to launch",
BBC Press Office, 14 February 2002.
Retrieved 2 April 2010.
* ^ "
BBC Four - FAQ". Retrieved 19 August 2007.
* ^ A B
BBC Four Service Licence. Issued February 2011 Retrieved 7
October 2011. Published by the
BBC Four Service Licence. Issued May 2009 Retrieved 12 March
* ^ "Ireland: Extra
BBC channels being added to Sky EPG". The
Airwaves. 2 May 2011. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
* ^ "
Janice Hadlow to be new Controller of
BBC Two" (Press
BBC Press Office. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 13 December
* ^ "Richard Klein named new Controller of
BBC Four" (Press
BBC Press Office. 24 November 2008. Archived from the
original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
* ^ "Richard Klein, Former Controller,
BBC Four - Inside the BBC".
* ^ "Adam Barker Appointed Acting Controller of
BBC Two & BBC
* ^ "
Kim Shillinglaw Named
BBC Two &
BBC Four Controller". TVWise.
* ^ "Cassian Harrison appointed as Channel Editor,
BBC Four - Media
* ^ "
BBC to launch five new HD channels".
BBC News. 16 July 2013.
Retrieved 16 July 2013.
* ^ "
BBC to launch five new subscription-free HD channels on
Tuesday 10 December".
BBC . 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December
* ^ Burrell, Ian (15 February 2010). "Watch and learn:
success is a sign that Britain is regaining a hunger for intelligent
broadcasting". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
* ^ "
BBC Four - Wallander". BBC.
* ^ "Chris Curtis on Twitter". Twitter. Editor, Broadcast.
Retrieved 3 December 2015.
* ^ "BBC4 breaks ratings record",
The Guardian (London), 19 March
BARB multichannel top ten,
BBC Four, week ending 23 March 2008
* ^ Klein, Richard, Ten Years of
BBC Four About the
BBC Blog, BBC,
Last accessed 3 March 2012
* ^ Analysis of
BARB audience figures, produced for QI by the
QI website, accessed 28 March 2008
* ^ "Dirk Gently to return to
BBC Four". BBC. 31 March 2011.
Retrieved 5 May 2013.
* ^ "
BBC Four to be converted to a sports channel in August".
a516digital. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.