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History & Culture Programmes

Brothers in Arms: The Pals Army of World War One

This film tells the epic story of the young men who joined up together, fought together and died together in World War One. It draws on a unique collection of filmed interviews with veterans in their nineties and hundreds who vividly remember how they volunteered with their friends in the first days of war to serve in Kitchener’s Army and the Pals Battalions. They relive the heroism and heartbreak of the pals in the trenches who went over the top together.

Canals: The Making of a Nation

Liz McIvor looks at who built the nation's canal network, who funded it, those who worked on it and how they were regenerated following WWII.​

Civil War

Before 1517, Europe was religiously united, with all states and virtually all subjects acknowledging the Pope as their spiritual leader. This drama documentary charts the start of the English Civil War, the execution of the King and the birth of parliamentary democracy. Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe provide the back drop against which the civil wars of 1640s were played out.

Coast Series 4 & 5

This award winning programme reawakens our love for the coast. From tourism and fishing to military defence and archaeology, the coastline is embedded with forgotten history and culture. Stories include the secret coastal hideaway of the man who inspired Citizen Kane, the last port of call for The Titanic, the early home of silent movies and the little town sitting in the path of a potential tsunami.


This major series tells the story of the British Empire in a new way. We travel the globe to examine how an empire takes and holds power, the cult of monarchy, the image of the gentleman explorer and the gospel of sport. Along the way we take in a pirates' treasure hunt and find out how one country convinced itself it should rule the world.

Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley travels to Russia to tell the extraordinary story of the dynasty that ruled the country for more than three centuries. It's an epic tale that includes giant figures such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, the devastating struggle against Napoleon in 1812, and the political murders of Nicholas II and his family in 1918 which brought the dynasty to a brutal end.

Genius of The Ancient World

Historian Bettany Hughes travels to India, Greece and China, on the trail of three giants of ancient philosophy: The Buddha, Socrates and Confucius. All three lived, between the 6th and 5th century BC, during a period of unprecedented intellectual development: 100 years that changed the way we see ourselves forever.

Genius of the Modern Mind

Historian Bettany Hughes retraces the lives of three great thinkers whose ideas shaped the modern world - Karl Marx, Frederick Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. All three changed the landscape of the modern world. Together they re-imagined global economics; questioned the very foundations of morality and society; and unravelled the workings of the human mind.

Harlem Voices

"Oh to be in Harlem again..." Ragtime and blues played all night, while experimental poets scribbled down new verses. Described as "a magnet for intellectuals", 1920s Harlem was a unique crucible for black poets, artists and musicians. This Manhattan neighbourhood gained a near mythical status though its depiction by the artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Ascent of Woman: A 10,000 Year Story

Dr. Amanda Foreman’s unprecedented series traverses countries and continents to uncover key stories of women that have made and changed human history from 10,000 BC to the present day.

The Code

Hidden in the world around us are mysterious symbols and bizarre numbers that hold the key to understanding the universe. What do these numbers and symbols mean, why are they here and what can we learn from them? Professor Marcus du Sautoy takes us on a gripping treasure hunt to uncover the codes in the world around us.

The Great War Begins

Using a giant sand map of Europe etched into the sands of Blackpool beach, Dan Snow shows us how the war began. His map reveals how the protagonist nations became enmeshed in the conflict as age-old treaties and loyalties forced Europe’s countries into confrontation.

The Machine Gun and Skye's Band of Brothers

The Maxim machine gun was developed in London; it could fire a terrifying 666 bullets per minute. Neil Oliver examines how the German military came to deploy this hellish weapon, and the effect it had on one remote Highland community.

The Quest for Bannockburn

The Quest for Bannockburn aims to uncover one of Britains's most famous battlegrounds, and use the archaeological finds to shed new light on just how Robert the Bruce achieved the most incredible victories in history.

The Story of Maths

Without mathematics, there would be no architecture, no commerce, no time and no chemistry. A Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford explores the 30,000 year history of maths and offers clear, accessible explanations of the development of the key mathematical principles that underpin the science, technology and culture of our modern world.

The Story of Wales

Beginning with the earliest known human burial in Western Europe, the 'Red Lady of Paviland', and ending with a modern nation, this is an authoritative popular history of Wales. We see the huge wealth of the country in the Bronze Age, the massive scale of the Roman presence, the rich culture of medieval Wales and the capture of the English Crown by a family with strong Welsh roots, the Tudors.


Where do people choose to make their homes and why? Neither a busting metropolis nor a rural idyll, towns have evolved an identity of their own. The buildings we construct reveal the history and psychology of our society, from city walls to market squares. Stunning aerials and enhanced 3D graphics uncover the complex geography, great histories and beautiful scenery of towns and the people who live there.

Word on the Street Series 2

Pick up everyday English and get an insight into British culture following brother and sister, Stephen and Ashlie. They visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, learn to surf, throw a party and cook Christmas dinner. English language expert Rob pulls out useful phrases while reporters Jo and Amandeep go behind the scenes of a London musical, a wildlife hospital and the house of the future.


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