Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
An alien encounter, an attractive newcomer and a fancy dress party are among the farmyard adventures provided by Shaun and his friends, as the current run of the popular stop-motion animation series draws to a close this week.
Everything must go on Monday when the farmer sets up a stall by the side of the road and leaves Bitzer in charge. The lazy sheepdog soon tires of his role and gives Shaun the job. He proves to be a much better salesman than Bitzer and the flock are only too happy to get stuck in, selling pretty much all the farmer's worldly possessions.
Tuesday sees the farmer throw a fancy-dress house party for his birthday. When Bitzer loses all the invitations, however, Shaun saves the day again. Disguised in their own ingenious costumes, the sheep stand in as the guests and have a good old knees-up. But can they fool the farmer into believing he is surrounded by his friends?
On Wednesday, two bungling alien scientists transport Pidsley the cat and Shaun aboard their flying saucer. Unfortunately, a foolish error causes the aliens to swap the animals' brains around. Shaun and Pidsley are dumped back to Earth, not realising they are in the wrong bodies – leading to much confusion around the farm before the aliens return to correct their mistake.
Shaun is smitten on Thursday when a bedraggled new sheep lands among the flock. After a wash in the sheep dip, the newcomer turns out to be quite attractive and Shaun immediately falls head over hoof for her. While Bitzer goes on a journey to find her rightful owner, the flock are kept amused by Shaun's romantic antics.
Finally, on Friday, Bitzer's kennel is accidentally destroyed and the canny canine hopes the farmer will replace it with a new deluxe model. But when he sees his master's clumsy attempt to build a new kennel, Bitzer is so horrified that he packs his bags and leaves home. Shaun, however, hopes to tempt Bitzer to return with the kennel of his dreams.
Ian struggles to cope without Jane, in tonight's first visit of the week to Albert Square. With a little help from Lucy, however, he is determined to find her and bring her home.
Elsewhere, Billy's festive cheer is on the wane as he faces stiff market competition from Mo, while Honey is reluctant to let him see his children over the Christmas period.
Ian is played by Adam Woodyatt, Jane by Laurie Brett, Lucy by Melissa Suffield, Billy by Perry Fenwick and Mo by Laila Morse.
Primates come under the Life spotlight tonight, as the BBC Natural History Unit series, narrated by David Attenborough, concludes.
Intelligence and adaptability allow primates to tackle the many challenges of life. Hamadryas baboons live in groups up to 400 strong, as numbers give them some protection from potential predators. There can be all-out battle with other baboon troupes, as males try to steal females from one another.
Japanese macaques beat the freezing conditions in their northerly habitat by having access to a thermal spa in the middle of winter. But this privilege is only for those born of the right female bloodline.
For western lowland gorillas in Congo, it's the male silverback that leads his family group. He advertises his status with a powerful chest-beating display.
The tarsier is the only purely carnivorous primate. Hunting for insects in the night, this strange creature uses its huge forward-facing eyes to judge each jump from tree to tree.
Communication is essential for success in primate society. Phayre's leaf monkeys have bright orange babies to alert other group members that they need looking after. Ring-tailed lemurs use their sense of smell for seduction, wafting their perfumed tails at each other.
Orang-utan mothers spend up to nine years teaching their infants what to eat, where to travel safely, how to build a nest and even how to deal with the regular downpours.
The biggest breakthrough in primate evolution has been the ability to use tools to get food. Clams are normally too strong for white-faced capuchins to open with their hands and teeth, so they repeatedly hammer them to weaken the clams' muscle.
The most imaginative tool use is displayed by the chimpanzees in the forests of Guinea, West Africa. They have learnt to dip for ants, pound and soften palm hearts using leaf stalks and to hammer nuts with precision and efficiency. So valuable are their tools, they will even share them with one another.
Tonight's diary section, Ninety-Nine Per Cent, shows how it took a month of intense effort for camerawoman Justine Evans, primatologist Tatyana Humle and the Life crew to earn the trust of our closest living relatives and capture some unforgettable chimpanzee behaviour.
Life is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.
The discovery of a handsome stranger's lost wallet in a joke shop prompts one of Miranda and Stevie's infamous competitions, as the semi-autobiographical writing of comedy actress Miranda Hart concludes. Who will win over gorgeous "wallet-man" – will it be Stevie's allure or Miranda's wiles? It takes a Great Dane, a self-defence challenge and some partial nudity in the park to find out.
Meanwhile, the girls' planned trip to Henley Regatta leaves Miranda determined to prove she can cope in a tricky social situation, even without the help of her mother, Penny's, social training or "musical contraceptives". But can she do it in time? Gary is leaving for Hong Kong and his farewell party is Miranda's last chance to tell him how she really feels.
Miranda is played by Miranda Hart, Stevie by Sarah Hadland, "wallet man" by Phillip Brodie, Penny by Patricia Hodge and Gary by Tom Ellis.
Charles Saatchi's six chosen artists embark on their final and most important commission this week – to put on a group exhibition at his world-famous gallery in West London.
The artists must prove to Saatchi that they can create artwork that is truly original and worthy of appearing in his gallery and being unveiled to key figures from the art world.
In only three weeks they not only have to create the artwork, but also organise the event themselves. At the exhibition, Saatchi will select just one artist's work to join his current exhibition of new British art at the renowned Hermitage Museum, in St Petersburg.
One artist faces disaster when Saatchi deems his work too dangerous to exhibit. Another attempts the massive undertaking of building a full-scale caravan from scrap wood but finds it might just be too big a task. Another discovers the perfect piece of work while walking down an urban street, but can the council be persuaded to sell it?
Influential curator Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery, advises them how to organise the exhibition and their artwork. Plans are moving forward, but he's appalled by the invitation they plan to send to the art world's elite.
The original selection panel, which includes Tracey Emin, reassembles to help Saatchi with his final decision. They are impressed by the overall standard of work on display. There is one particularly stand-out piece, but that artist's work throughout the 10 weeks has certainly not been the most impressive. Another artist's final piece isn't quite up to scratch, but the panel feel their progress throughout has been excellent.
Charles has a major dilemma – there's only space for one of them at his exhibition in Russia, as well as the additional opportunity of studio space for three years. All is not lost, however, as he has a final surprise up his sleeve...
Pete Postlethwaite stars as an elderly man living in the nightmarish, post-apocalyptic world of 2055, in the première of this drama documentary which was first released in cinemas in March of this year.
Runaway climate change has ravaged the planet, and Pete Postlethwaite plays the founder of The Global Archive, a storage facility located in the now melted Arctic, preserving all of humanity's achievements in the hope that the planet might become habitable again.
Pulling together clips of "archive" news and documentary from 1950 to 2008, he focuses on contrasting human stories across the globe.
These include palaeontologist Alvin Du Vernay helping Shell find more oil off the coast of New Orleans. He also rescued more than 100 people after Hurricane Katrina, which by 2055 is well known as one of the first "major climate change events".
Meanwhile, in India, Jeh Wadia aims to start up a new low-cost airline with the aim of getting millions of Indians flying. Layefa Malemi lives in absolute poverty in a small village in Nigeria from which Shell extracts millions of dollars of oil every week, and Piers Guy is a wind farm developer from Cornwall, fighting the "Nimbys" of middle England.
A campaigning film being shown by the BBC as part of its coverage of the Copenhagen climate conference, The Age Of Stupid is directed by Franny Armstrong (McLibel, Drowned Out) and produced by Oscar-winning producer John Battsek (One Day In September, Live Forever, In The Shadow Of The Moon).
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