Simon Rattle recently celebrated his 60th birthday, and continues to wow audiences by taking charge of some amazing performances.
He’s been chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – which is often described as the world’s leading orchestra – since 1999.
He’s been instrumental (pun entirely intended) in changing the institution’s approach to certain administrative matters, including the pay of its musicians – which has probably made him rather popular among the performers.
Hopefully all of them will be in fine form tonight, too, as they take to the stage at the Barbican to complete their Sibelius cycle as part of their London residency with Symphonies 5, 6 and 7; the first four symphonies can be seen on the BBC iPlayer.
Kirsty Wark introduces the performance, one in a long series of significant cultural events to be broadcast by the BBC. She also speaks to Rattle himself during the programme.
The idea of watching a programme about people buying other people’s discarded stuff seems an odd premise.
But it’s one that has grown in popularity in recent years, with the Storage Wars franchise going great guns across the globe.
Channel 4’s The Auction House has proved popular too, and returns to our screens this week. For the uninitiated, it’s filmed at Lots Road Auctions in Chelsea, where dynamic boss Roger rules the roost in his own unique style; he certainly bears little resemblance to the Antiques Roadshow’s genteel experts.
He introduces viewers to his new general manager, Major William Shuttleworth, who knows nothing about the business he’s entered, but a lot about stockbroking and breweries.
He’s been brought in because previous general manager Martin Nicholls wants to concentrate on valuations, and you can bet that much of what happens in this run involves finding out how William deals with his dramatic career change.
Adapted from Cecelia Ahern’s best-selling novel, Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) is a New York real estate broker whose good-humoured husband, Irishman Gerry (Gerard Butler), always stood by her side. Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, Gerry succumbs to a brain tumor and Holly is left to face an uncertain future.
No one in the world knows Holly better than Gerry, not even her mother (Kathy Bates) or her best friends, Sharon (Gina Gershon) and Denise (Lisa Kudrow).
But while Holly remains unsure if she can go on without the love of her life to help guide her, Gerry has planned ahead. With each new message comes a new adventure, and each letter signs off in the same familiar way: "P.S. I love you."
Director Richard LaGravenese teams with screenwriter Steve Rogers to adapt author Cecelia Ahern's best-selling novel.
Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow
The last time Julie Walters turned up in a new TV programme was at Christmas, when the BBC paid tribute to her skills as an actress and all-round national treasure via an entertaining documentary.
Now she’s back, this time in full-on drama mode.
The series has been dubbed Downton Abbey Goes to India, but chances are that this will be the programme that wins Baftas next year, while Julian Fellowes’ project becomes increasingly cartoony.
Set in 1932 against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of northern India, and tells the story of the passions, rivalries and clashes of those living in the area.
The first episode introduces us to the main players, including Walters’ character, society doyenne Cynthia Coffin, who is preparing the exclusive, white-only British Club for its summer season. But there’s trouble on the wind as a mysterious assassin makes his way to the region.
If you’ve ever seen Big Brother and the classic George A Romero movie Dawn of the Dead, then you should be able to get your head around this new series.
It’s a kind of mix of the two, a reality show set in a shopping mall six months after an epidemic has turned many members of the British public into bloodthirsty zombies.
Over the course of a week, 10 contestants face a battle to survive while holed up at the Monroe Shopping Village which has been overrun by the living dead.
They must work together to create a makeshift base, find essential supplies and stay alive – something that proves to be rather difficult thanks to the constant threat of zombies around every corner.
After seven days, survivors – if there are any – are airlifted to a tropical quarantine zone as a reward.
Presumably some kind of therapy will also be on offer after a terrifying ordeal.
Gay Byrne returns for another six-part series in which he talks to major public figures from all walks of life about the things they believe and the things they have done, that give their lives meaning.
On the eve of her Farewell Tour, singer Mary Black talks about her disillusion with the Church, her struggles with depression and her mystical experiences with Gay Byrne in this week’s Meaning of Life.
Em and Lo teach us how to get our kink on. Em and Lo take to the streets to find out more about people's attitudes towards bondage.
Our beautiful models, Laura and Ricardo, demonstrate the safe way to experiment with temperature play and tying someone up.
Sparks fly when our Roving Reporters, Georgie and Dougie, try out the antique art of electrostimulation.
More treats in the studio as fashion designer, Rogerio Alves, gives us a sneaky peak at his latest line in latex couture.
Finally, a taste of animal magic as Em and Lo are joined by three 'furries' whose fetish for all things feline has led to some unusual lifestyle choices.
When a bank worker refuses a loan extension to the enigmatic Mrs Ganush, the old woman retaliates by cursing her with the Lamia, a demon that will claim the young woman’s soul three days hence.
With emotional support from her handsome professor boyfriend Clay, the poor young woman solicits spiritual guidance from psychic Rham Jas and his seer to break the curse.
In an age when horror films have become an exercise in sadism, Drag Me To Hell is a welcome throwback to more playful times.
It recalls Raimi’s seminal Evil Dead series with its queasy conflation of gore and dark humour.
Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer
The gorgeous Laura and Ricardo are back once again to demonstrate ways of living out your fantasies from dressing up in sexy outfits to dressing down with a sexy striptease.
Find out the legal implications of having sex in public in our guide to Sex and the Law with a top London barrister and join Em and Lo on the beach in Brighton as they see whether couples' dessing up fantasies are compatible.
A man who's trying to make porn films that appeal to women just as much as men joins Em and Lo in the studio to share his secrets.
Our Roving Reporter, Dougie, checks out the world of high-end fantasy role-play.
A Texan hunter stumbles across the site of drug deal gone disastrously wrong – and decides to help himself to a briefcase full of cash.
Realising that the rightful owners will probably want it back, he goes on the run, but doesn’t count on being trailed by a sadistic hit man who will stop at nothing to get the job done.
Can a world-weary sheriff make sense of the carnage before more innocent people pay the price for getting in the killer’s way?
After the disappointing Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers, the Coen Brothers made a dazzling return to form with this Oscar-winning thriller.
At times, it’s almost unbearably tense, and some of the credit for that has to go to Oscar-winner Javier Bardem who manages to be downright terrifying despite being burdened with a ridiculous haircut.
Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Kelly Macdonald, Woody Harrelson, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin