* Prices may differ from that shown
If BBC Three is aimed at a younger audience then I think it is fair to say that BBC Four is trying to appeal to an older one or at least those who are looking for a more educational type of programme discussing subjects that may not feature on the main channels all that much.
Programmes taking an in depth look at major scientific discoveries feature heavily in their schedules along with documentaries and live performances from musicians who are not widely known or who have a specific fan base, I can remember a brilliant live set by Randy Newman which I enjoyed immensely and watched several times using the iPlayer which you can use to view many shows from this station.
Like all television channels BBC Four has some things on offer that you will like and some that will hold no interest for you what so ever. Only Connect is a quiz show presented by Victoria Coren who is absolutely lovely. Two teams of three compete against each other to solve puzzles and questions and it is no exaggeration when I say it extremely tough. Using logical thinking and deep general knowledge the contestants much find answers and then decipher links and connections between other answers, the people are very impressive and never cease to amaze me especially under the pressure of being on television as well.
What I particularly love about this BBC channel though is most definitely their docu-drama type shows of which I have seen several. I have watched those dramatising the lives of Margaret Thatcher and Gracie Fields along with a depiction of the recent MP's expenses scandal and Micro Men.
Long Walk to Finchley told the story of Margaret Thatcher's political career including her early struggle to even become an MP and how she balanced this with her young family. The acting was fantastic and the style of these types of programmes is one of a drama that is very watchable and as great parts of the story are based on truth it is given the title of docu-drama. A similar style programme about Gracie Fields who was a popular singer in the first half of the twentieth century was also very interesting and entertaining.
The drama about expenses told the story about how a journalist started the in depth analysis and exposing of some MP's expenses claims but one of my favourites has to have been Micro Men. This depicted the progress that was made by British companies in the seventies and eighties in the computer market. The relationship between Sir Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry is demonstrated as they both battle for dominance of the home computer market. Martin Freeman and Alexander Armstrong are both brilliant in this and it is quite amusing, showing Sir Clive's obsession with his much maligned C5 car.
Although not everything broadcast on this channel appeals to me the programmes I do watch are thought provoking and very entertaining. I always knew who Randy Newman was but the concert I watched made me want to research more of his music and the various docu-drama's have made me want to learn about certain famous people and periods in time as well as make me think about what I should do with my own life.
BBC 4 This is an excellent channel from the BBC and is the home of a more select group of programming for the discerning viewer what I like about this channel is that there are not many repeats and the programs are of an original concept....this means that on any given day you can tune in from 7pm in the evening to around 2 -3 am.
I love the quiz program called connect this is a high brow quiz show where if I get one or two answer right in a single program I feel like I have achieved something usually vacated by PhD students and Cambridge/oxford grads this quiz as the name alludes is all about connections and making them between seemingly four different objects words places and so on and so on! Hoisted by Poker professional and commentator Vicky Coren this is just one program out of all the BBC Schedule you really should watch! There are of course other programs that will certainly hold or ignite your interest ......currently running is a program on the history and production of tartan....this Channel is like a good Sunday afternoon it warm style unique subjects and easygoingness certainly offers a break from the brash and sometimes clinical nature of other channels.
I consider BBC Four to be the 'Jewel in the Crown' of BBC TV. The subjects covered are wide ranging and extremely well researched and it is so refreshing to turn on the television and find a programme that is both entertaining and in many cases educational. Just this week we have The Story of Maths in which Professor Marcus du Sautoy guides us through the history of mathematics, Andrew Mars Britain From Above, showing how the country has been shaped over the years and a repeated classic Betjeman's Metroland where Sir John shows tells in his wonderful style how the Metropolitan line extended the suburban boundaries of London during the mid - war period. For a little light relief That Mitchell and Webb Look is a good chuckle. Quite a few of the programmes on offer are made in conjunction with the Open University and these I find of particular interest. Altogether a marvellous channel which I believe shows the BBC at it's very best. With quality and in depth detail like this it makes the licence fee a little easier to accept.