Monthly Archives: November 2013

This Week in TV – 30th November – 6th December

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with such seamless links as Poppins to Cooper and the Comedy Awards to England’s heritage.

Saturday 30th November

The Culture Show

BBC2, 8:30pm

As you’re probably aware, Saving Mr Banks – the film about PL Travers’s reluctant agreement to the Disney adaptation of her books about magical nanny Mary Poppins – was released in the UK'The Culture Show' - BBC2, 8:30pm yesterday. Tonight, to coincide with the film’s release, The Culture Show sees Victoria Coren-Mitchell take a deeper look at the complex, stubborn and very difficult-to-please woman herself.

While Saving Mr Banks focuses primarily on Travers’s constant interference and objections about Disney’s adaptation of her children’s novels, this programme looks at the writer’s life as a whole, exploring her battle with Walt Disney himself (which lasted for two whole decades!) and the unorthodox adoption of her son, who was a twin. Of course, however, there will be some mention of how the film Mary Poppins completely overshadowed her efforts as a novelist, despite the movie’s success making her very rich indeed.

The programme features contributions from Cameron Mackintosh, PL Travers’s granddaughter and Saving Mr Banks star, Emma Thompson.

Also today: ITV begins its running of the Harry Potter films (ITV, 3:15pm) – which, if shown weekly, will take us through to the middle of January 2014; it’s musicals week on Strictly (BBC1, 7:00pm); Jonathan Davies: Trimsaran Boy (BBC2, 7:00pm) profiles the former rugby player; Eric Bristow, Nadine Dorries, Ed Byrne and Sammy Winward take on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); the X Factor quarter-final (ITV, 8:00pm); Charlie Brooker’s How Video Games Changed the World (Channel 4, 9:00pm); new five-part drama series The Bible (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and Jonathan Ross has another all-star line-up (although I use the term very loosely) in Olly Murs, Keith Lemon, Joanna Lumley and Chris Tarrant (ITV, 10:50pm) – who is probably there to plug new daytime quiz show, Show Me the Telly.

Incidentally, note to the show’s host, Richard Bacon: no matter how many times you say ‘Still funny’ after a comedy clip, you’re not going to create a catchphrase. Other than that, keep up the good work.

Sunday 1st December

50 Years of Rock Excess: Amps, Whips and Rebel Riffs 

Channel 4, 10:00pm

Yes, if you haven’t already done so, pop open that first window on your advent calendar, sit back'50 Years of Rock Excess: Amps, Whips and Rebel Riffs' - Channel 4, 10:00pm and enjoy the start of Channel 4’s Rock Night.

Although I admit that the likelihood of a rock fan having an advent calendar to ‘pop open’ is low. You never know, though…

Anyway, back to the programme. This is a tongue-in-cheek ride through the past five decades of rock, featuring interviews with stars such as Josh Homme and Alice Cooper. We relive some of the best moments in rock history, hearing some unbelievable anecdotes and find out exactly where the genre can go from here. In another fifty years, will it still be as popular?

Also today: Fern Britton Meets… returns (BBC1, 10:00am), with Susan Boyle her first subject (absolutely nothing to do with her having an album to flog, I’m sure); family favourite Happy Feet (Channel 5, 4:20pm); Cilla Black makes an appearance on the last in the series of Surprise, Surprise (ITV, 7:00pm); the lovely, talented Alfie Boe is on Strictly  (BBC1, 7:20pm) while the miserable, homophobic (but apologetic, I’ll give him that) James Arthur is on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Time Team (Channel 4, 8:00pm) aims to discover the true location of the Battle of Hastings; and the concluding part of Morecambe and Wise: The Whole Story is on BBC2 at 9:00pm.

Monday 2nd December

Liberty of London 

Channel 4, 9:00pm

This three-part documentary goes behind-the-scenes at London department store Liberty.'Liberty of London' - Channel 4, 9:00pm

Over the course of the series we will not only get to meet Liberty’s high-end clientele but also see what goes on in preparation for Christmas and London and Paris Fashion Weeks, during which the store’s eccentric designs are showcased.

It’s like Made in Chelsea meets Shoplife.

Also today: Ruth Watson Means Business! and Building the Dream come to Channel 4 daytime (10:00 and 11:00am); Saoirse Ronan announces the winner of the Turner Prize (Channel 4, 7:30pm); festive ideas with A Great Christmas With Sarah Beeny (Channel 4) and The Gadget Show Christmas Special (Channel 5) at 8:00pm; and Frank Skinner, TJ Miller and Richard Herring are the first to take to the stage on Set List (Sky Atlantic, 10:30pm), which sees comedians improvise a routine based on subjects given to them during their performance.

 Tuesday 3rd December

Danny MacAskill’s Imaginate 

Dave, 8:00pm

Until I began researching this programme I had no idea who Danny MacAskill even was! It may not'Danny MacAskill's Imaginate' - Dave, 8:00pm surprise you to learn that I’m not a huge fan of stunt riding. Or sport itself. No, give me a hot chocolate and Birds of a Feather marathon any day of the week.

I am now in awe of MacAskill, though. He has achieved incredible feats in his field and this documentary shows how he managed just one of them: to recreate the toys from his childhood (model railway, Rubik’s Cube, Twister, etc.), but large enough for him to ride over. It really is quite something – either watch the video itself or watch this show. Or both.

This programme, named after the project itself, goes behind-the-scenes of the 16 months-long shoot, telling the story of how Danny and his team overcame the many hurdles that they faced when planning this spectacular stunt. Be prepared to be blown away.

Also today: Stephen Hawking in Brief (Channel 4, 7:55pm), which runs for the rest of this week; Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve (BBC2, 9:00pm); Young, British and Broke (BBC3, 9:00pm) investigates payday loan companies; and Dave Cliff presents one-off documentary The Joy of Logic (BBC4, 9:00pm).

Wednesday 4th December

British Comedy Awards Nominations Show 

Channel 4, 10:45pm

Reigning (and Official) King of Comedy, Jack Whitehall reveals which comedy shows and their stars are up for gongs at this year’s ceremony, to be broadcast live (no one invite Julian Clary!) next  Thursday (12th December).'British Comedy Awards Nominations Show' - Channel 4, 10:45pm

The only category which we know for certain is the King or Queen of Comedy award – the only one which is voted for by the public. Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican and current King Jack Whitehall are all in the running and lines are now open (closing on the night of the ceremony). Take a look here to find out how to vote.

The rest, of course, is pure speculation. What would I like to see get some recognition? The IT Crowd, The Mimic, My Mad Fat Diary, Not Going Out, The Wrong Mans, A Touch of Cloth, Last Tango in Halifax, Mount Pleasant, Big School…I doubt the latter four will, though – unfortunately. What’s not going to be nominated? Well I don’t think I’m being too controversial when I say that I doubt that Boom Town, Pat & Cabbage, Citizen Khan, Father Figure or The Wright Way will be picking up any awards. They might get a little ribbing in Wossy’s opening speech, though…

Also today: A Stop! Police Interceptors montage (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Lionel Bart, Reviewing the Situation (BBC4, 9:00pm), which profiles the Oliver! composer; and a 28 Up South Africa update (ITV, 10:35pm).

Thursday 5th December

Restoring England’s Heritage 

BBC1, 7:30pm

In this one-off documentary, historian Tom Holland explores some of the country’s most at-risk heritage sites.

Over thirty minutes, Tom visits a Portsmouth theatre, the location of the earliest iron industry in England and a hospital built in memory of an explorer. These southern sites are all in danger, but with Tom shining a light on them, is there hope for their survival?

Also today: New documentaries Keeping Britain Safe 24/7 (BBC1, 8:30pm) and The Silent War (BBC2, 9:00pm); and The Audience returns (More 4, 10:00pm).

Friday 6th December

Robbie Williams: One Night at the Palladium 

BBC1, 8:00pm'Robbie Williams: One Night at the Palladium' - BBC1, 8:00pm

Watch Robbie and a whole host of top guests performing some of his biggest hits alongside tracks  from his latest album, Swings Both Ways.

Some of the stars taking to the stage with Robbie include Rufus Wainwright, Lily Allen and Miss Piggy and Kermit! Quite an eclectic mix there.

In a crafty (but not uncommon) move on the BBC’s part, Robbie Williams: One Night at the Palladium will also be released on DVD and Blu-Ray next Monday (9th December). You can pre-order it here.

Also today: Kathy Burke hosts Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); there are 8 Out of 10 Cats highlights (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Victoria Coren Mitchell, Rev Richard Coles and Sue Perkins are on QI (BBC2, 10:00pm); Alan Carr welcomes John Bishop (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and a varied line-up on The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm) as he is joined by Sir Cliff Richard, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Berry, David Walliams and Harry Hill. And may I say how great it is to read a Graham Norton Show line-up without a Hollywood star in sight – makes a welcome change!

In a last minute addition to the schedule, following the news of his passing, Nelson Mandela: His Life and Legacy, presented by Mark Austin, will be on ITV at 11:10pm.

The next This Week in TV (for 7th – 13th December) will be published at the earlier time of midnight on Monday (2nd December).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: The Culture Show – ©BBC; 50 Years of Rock Excess: Amps, Whips and Rebel Riffs– Thanks to Channel 4; Liberty of London – Thanks to Channel 4 and Phil Fisk; Danny MacAskill: Imaginate – Thanks to UKTV, ©Fred Murray/Red Bull Content Pool; British Comedy Awards Nominations Show – Thanks to Channel 4 and Dave King; Robbie Williams: One Night at the Palladium – Thanks to BBC, Farrell Music Ltd and Simon Niblett, ©Farrell Music Ltd.


This Week in TV – 23rd – 29th November

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – taking in Gallifrey, Hebburn and Burma.

Saturday 23rd November

Doctor Who

BBC1, 7:50pm

Now, the Beeb has kept it fairly quiet but I can exclusively reveal that tomorrow will mark fifty years since Doctor Who began, and – it gets better! – there will be a special episode to mark it!'Doctor Who' - BBC1, 7:50pm

I know, the sly buggers!

Of course I’m joking: it feels like The Day of the Doctor has been trailed across BBC TV and radio since William Hartnell first stepped into the Tardis but finally the build-up ends tonight as the Steven Moffat-penned episode airs.

Modern-day London, sixteenth century England and the mysterious world of space are about to collide as the Doctor must risk everything to stop a murderous plot from coming to fruition. And that is all that the BBC is giving away – understandably, I suppose.

Joining Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in the special are John Hurt, Joanna Page and former Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Billie Piper. Plus, if you want to enhance your viewing experience, why not watch Day of the Doctor in 3D on BBC HD and at your local cinema. Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty follows on BBC3 at 9:05pm, hosted by Zoe Ball and Rick Edwards.

Also today: A Doctor Who-themed edition of Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 5:40pm); Strictly (BBC1, 6:30pm); Hebburn star Vic Reeves is on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); The X Factor contestants celebrate ten series of The X Factor on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Sir Tony Robinson presents Walking Through History (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Rob Lowe stars in drama Killing Kennedy (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Comet Ison is the focus of a Horizon special (BBC2, 9:15pm); The Culture Show centres around DH Lawrence (BBC2, 10:15pm); and Simon Pegg, Gary Barlow and Dame Edna Everage are on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 10:30pm).

Sunday 24th November

Morecambe & Wise: The Whole Story

BBC2, 9:00pm

This new series traces Eric and Ernie’s career from beginning to end – how they began as a small-'Morecambe & Wise: The Whole Story' - BBC2, 9:00pm scale variety show duo and finished performing to audiences of 28 million on the BBC.

This first episode focuses on the early years and tells of the beginnings of their friendship, after they were persuaded to perform together by Eric’s mum, Sadie. Of course, they didn’t have an immediate ascension to fame: after their debut show Running Wild in 1954, the pair received horrendous reviews, including the now infamous, ‘Definition of the week: TV set – the box in which they buried Morecambe and Wise’.

Things improved though when, seven years later, they began Two of a Kind at ATV. The public fell in love with them and the rest, as they say, is history…

Also today: Strictly (BBC1, 7:20pm) and X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm) results; documentary Hitler’s 9/11 (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and Owen Jones delivers a speech at The RTS Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture (BBC4, 10:00pm).

Monday 25th November

The CCTV Traffic Wardens: Caught on Camera 

Channel 4, 9:00pm

This one-off documentary follows the work of Bristol City Council and the CCTV Control Centre, manned by traffic engineers and covert traffic wardens.

We see drivers being punished for their parking offences. As you’d imagine, there are a fair few tears and tantrums from the drivers along the way.

Also today: The Legalizer (9:15am) and The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2:15pm) begin on BBC1; Caught Red Handed returns (BBC1, 11:00am); Richard Bacon presents new TV-themed quiz show Show Me the Telly (ITV, 4:00pm); documentary Monty Halls and the Kaiser’s Gold begins (Channel 5, 9:00pm); The Cave: Hiding From the Nazis (Channel 5, 10:00pm) tells the story of five families who hid in a cave to escape from the Nazis; and Tracey Emin celebrates the life of Louise Bourgeois in Secret Knowledge (BBC4, 10:00pm).

Tuesday 26th November


BBC2, 10:00pm

The north east-set comedy is now well into its second series and is as brilliantly funny and poignant  as ever.'Hebburn' - BBC2, 10:00pm

Jim Moir really is excelling himself in this series as he plays stroke sufferer Joe with exactly the right amount of warmth and humour. The most laughs, however, come from Joe’s mam, Dot, who has recently moved in with her son and his wife, Pauline and is already making her presence known.

Tonight, Pauline is away on a training day, Gervaise is shooting the picture for his album cover and Jack and Sarah come away from antenatal classes somewhat traumatised.

Also today: Refugees of the Lost Rainforest (BBC4, 8:00pm); the brilliant Last Tango in Halifax continues (BBC1, 9:00pm); and Safari, Witchcraft and Murder (More4, 9:00pm) tells the story of David Simpson and his boss Erik Marav, who were jailed on suspicion of murder.

Wednesday 27th November

Treblinka: Inside Hitler’s Secret Death Camp 

Channel 5, 9:00pm

Not a lot of laughs in this documentary, as you’d imagine.

A team of archaeologists have been granted exclusive access to Treblinka – one of Hitler’s most notorious death camps. 800,000 people were killed at this camp during 1942 and 1943 and this programme explores its structure and where the victims were buried.

Okay, let’s return to the upbeat stuff now, shall we?

Also today: CS Lewis: The Secret Lives and Loves (BBC4, 9:00pm).

Thursday 28th November

Getting Rich in the Recession: Scrappers 

Channel 4, 9:00pm

This hour-long programme tells viewers how the scrap metal industry could help get Britain out of  recession, being as it is a much under-used but'Getting Rich in the Recession: Scrappers' - Channel 4, 9:00pm potentially huge resource.

Unbelievably, the scrap metal industry is worth £10 billion a year with over a million tonnes of electrical goods alone (half of which are still in working order) being discarded in that time.

In this documentary we will meet the larger-than-life characters at the South London scrap yard and see them at work, making the most of the opportunities that the recession throws up.

Also today: Crimewatch (BBC1, 9:00pm); one-off thriller Legacy (BBC2, 9:00pm); Surviving the Arctic With Chris Terrill (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and documentary series What Happens in Kavos returns (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Friday 29th November

Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom 

BBC2, 9:00pm

This three-part series sees scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and filmmakers from the 'Wild Burma: Nature's Lost Kingdom' - BBC2, 9:00pm BBC’s Natural History Unit explore the depths of Burma.

In the first episode of the series, Gordon Buchanan and Justine Evans set out to discover whether a population of elephants are living in the mountains of Burma. It’s not an easy journey, however, and Gordon and Justine must overcome a series of obstacles in order to get the answers they want.

Also today: Kangaroo Dundee (BBC2, 8:30pm); documentary Blues America begins (BBC4, 9:00pm); brace yourselves, Janet Street-Porter is on the QI panel this week in an episode titled ‘Kinky’! (BBC2, 10:00pm); Josh Widdicombe and Beady Eye are on Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Colin Farrell, Jo Brand, Sharon Osbourne and Jeremy Clarkson are on Graham Norton’s sofa (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Doctor Who – Thanks to BBC and Adrian Rogers, ©BBC; Morecambe and Wise: The Whole Story – ©BBC; Hebburn – Thanks to BBC and Jason Cook, ©Baby Cow Manchester/Channel X North; Getting Rich in the Recession: Scrappers – Thanks to Channel 4 and Jude Edington; Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom – Thanks to BBC NHU and Evania Wright, ©BBC NHU.

This Week in TV – 16th – 22nd November

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with tangos in Blackpool and Halifax, and a lot for Doctor Who fans!

Saturday 16th November

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC1, 6:30pm

A bittersweet week at Strictly. On the one hand, we’re now over half way through the series. On the other, Brucie’s back. Still, never mind.

After a two year absence, Brucie, Tess and co. are returning to'Strictly Come Dancing' - BBC1, 6:30pm Blackpool to present an episode from the famous Tower Ballroom. Dances this week include the Paso Doble, Quickstep, Jive, Charleston and American Smooth.

Of course, now that Marmite contestant Dave Myers has left, the competition can now really begin. To me, there is no obvious celebrity to be the next to leave. I guess the weakest contestants could be said to be Fiona Fullerton and Mark Benton but even they’re by no means bad dancers – and it all comes down to the dance-off: if the public don’t pick up the phone and vote for their favourites, strong contestants could end up going. So there are no guarantees with Strictly – even those who are considered to be the best dancers (Abbey, Natalie, Sophie, etc.) aren’t completely safe. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Also today: Children in Need: The Best Bits (BBC1, 5:20pm); Andrea McLean and Robbie Savage are on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); it’s Great British Songbook week on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Doctor Who: Greatest Monsters and Villains Weekend continues (BBC3, 8:00pm); Benjamin Britten on Camera (BBC4, 8:00pm); Borgen’s back (BBC4, 9:00pm); and Jonathan Ross welcomes some big names (for once), including Sarah Millican, Eminem, Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker and (prepare for the screams) One Direction at 9:30pm.

Sunday 17th November

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

ITV, 9:00pm

It’s back! Prepare for three weeks of bitchiness, Bushtucker Trials and kangaroo bums and bo…sorry, testicles, as Ant and Dec bring us the latest from the Aussie jungle. But who are the celebrities who are bravely entering the camp this year? Well, there’s…

Professional snooker player, Steve Davis OBE

Steve Davis OBE

Model, Signed by Katie Price winner and this year’s Myleene Klass, Amy Willerton

Amy Willerton

TOWIE star, Joey Essex

Joey Essex

One fifth of Westlife, Kian Egan

Kian Egan

The Wright Stuff presenter and enemy of John Leslie, Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Olympic gold medallist, Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington

Princess Diana’s dress designer, David Emanuel

David Emanuel

Eastenders’ Big Mo, Laila Morse

Laila Morse

Fresh Prince star, Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro

Emmerdale’s Chas, Lucy Pargeter

Lucy Pargeter

Not the best line-up, maybe, but hopefully they’ll throw up a few surprises – as well as their witchetty grubs.

Also today: JFK: The Final Visit to Britain (BBC2, 6:00pm); the newly-tattooed David Dimbleby presents Britain and the Sea (BBC1, 9:00pm); Respect: A Felix Dexter Special (BBC2, 10:00pm) pays tribute to the comedian who died last month; and Laura, Joe and Rob return with I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here Now! (ITV2, 10:30pm).

Monday 18th November

Fear of Flying: Caught of Camera 

Channel 4, 9:00pm

One fifth of the UK population lives with aviophobia: the fear of flying. They wake up in cold sweats the day before a flight and often try to make a bolt for the door before take off.

This documentary features footage recorded by some aviophobes as they embark on flights, showing the extent of their fear. There are also insights from aviation experts, who offer advice on how best to overcome a fear of flying, and clips of when things go wrong in the air. Although exactly how helpful this is in a documentary about an intense fear of flying I have no idea.

Also today: Doctor Who stars past and present share their favourite moments from the show in The Ultimate Guide to Doctor Who (BBC3, 8:00pm); John Hannah narrates 7 Days That Made the Führer (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and Jim Al-Khalili presents two-part documentary Light and Dark (BBC4, 9:00pm).

Tuesday 19th November

Last Tango in Halifax 

BBC1, 9:00pm

Sally Wainwright’s excellent, BAFTA-winning comedy drama returns for a second series.'Last Tango in Halifax' - BBC1, 9:00pm

Last Tango in Halifax follows loved-up septuagenarians Alan (Derek Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid),  who have been reunited after six decades apart. As we left the pair and their families at the end of the last series, Alan was very ill and had recently called off his and Celia’s wedding, after she failed to accept her daughter’s decision to end her marriage and come out as lesbian. It looked like Celia was going to lose Alan once again, and this series picks up from that point.

Will the couple be able to get their relationship back on track, and is a romance blossoming between Alan’s daughter and Celia’s ex-son-in-law? Probably – otherwise I wouldn’t have brought it up…

Also today: Not a lot. Um…the brilliant Hebburn continues (BBC2, 10:00pm) but that’s it. Even I’m a Celebrity… has been replaced by the football!

Wednesday 20th November


BBC3, 10:00pm

Preceded by Jack Whitehall Live at 9:00pm, this new chat show is presented by the Fresh Meat'Backchat' - BBC3, 10:00pm star and his dad, Michael.

Backchat is a mixture of sketches and chat with celebrities (Danny Dyer and Jeremy Paxman are on the first episode), hosted by the father and son duo.

Now, the pair were on Chatty Man last week and their bickering and banter was very funny. For about thirty seconds. I’m a huge fan of Jack’s but I’m afraid that I’m not holding out much hope for Backchat. I have a feeling that Michael’s criticisms of his son’s jokes and cluelessness about the guests will become very, very tedious very, very quickly.

Also today: Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen (BBC1, 8:00pm); and Ben Shepherd and Julia Bradbury present new series, Mystery Map (ITV, 8:00pm).

Thursday 21st November

An Adventure in Space and Time 

BBC2, 9:00pm

This eagerly-anticipated, fact-based drama tells the story of how Doctor Who began fifty years ago, and the challenges that producer Verity Lambert faced in persuading the BBC to make it.

Written by Doctor Who and Sherlock scribe, Mark Gatiss'An Adventure in Space and Time' - BBC2, 9:00pm and starring David Bradley (Mount Pleasant) and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), An Adventure in Space and Time takes us back to 1963, when William Hartnell and Lambert were both incredibly frustrated with their careers. While she was trying to break through the glass ceiling of TV production, he was fed up of being offered hard-man roles and was feeling trapped. However, this little Saturday teatime drama was about to unexpectedly change both of their fortunes and become the longest-running sci-fi series in the world.

Also today: Animal Odd Couples (BBC1), Charley Boorman’s USA Adventure (Channel 5) and Inside RAF Brize Norton (Sky1 HD) all begin at 8:00pm; Children of the Master Race (Channel 5, 9:00pm) meets three people who were products of the Nazi birthing programme; and the final series of Him & Her begins (BBC3, 10:00pm), with the next five weeks focusing on Paul and superbitch Laura’s wedding.

Friday 22nd November

The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who 

BBC2, 9:30pm

Broadcaster and Doctor Who superfan Matthew Sweet believes that the show is far more than a'The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who' - BBC2, 9:30pm piece of children’s television. He says that it is an integral part of modern British culture and something we should embrace and be extremely proud of.

During this one hour special, he takes us on a journey through the past five decades, tracing Doctor Who’s huge influence on television and music and meeting cast and crew old and new to discuss the huge importance of this little show.

Also today: One-off documentary The Nazi Killers (Channel 5, 9:00pm); John Denver: Country Boy (BBC4, 9:00pm) recounts the singer-songwriter’s life; George Clooney tells the story of Kennedy’s assassination in JFK: News of a Shooting (More4, 9:00pm); Live at the Apollo returns (BBC1, 9:30pm); Micky Flanagan, Sheridan Smith and Bastille are on Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); Emma Thompson, Jimmy Carr, Robbie Williams and Matt Smith and David Tennant pull up a pew for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); and Martin Bayfield takes us back to 2003 in Rugby World Cup Winners: Ten Years On (ITV, 10:35pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Strictly Come Dancing – Thanks to BBC and Ray Burmiston, ©BBC; I’m a Celebrity… – ©ITV; Last Tango in Halifax – Thanks to BBC, Anthony and Cleopatra Series and Ben Blackall, ©Anthony and Cleopatra Series Ltd.; Backchat – Thanks to BBC and Pete Dadds, ©BBC; An Adventure in Space and Time – Thanks to BBC and Hal Shinnie, ©BBC; The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who – ©BBC.

‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ 2013 Line-Up Revealed!

For several weeks now the rumours have been rife as to which stars (and I use the term very loosely) will make up the I’m a Celebrity cast of 2013. So, let’s not waste time – here they are:

Professional snooker player, Steve Davis OBE

 Steve Davis OBE

Model, Signed by Katie Price winner and this year’s Myleene Klass, Amy Willerton

 Amy Willerton

TOWIE star, Joey Essex

 Joey Essex

One fifth of Westlife, Kian Egan

 Kian Egan 

The Wright Stuff presenter and enemy of John Leslie, Matthew Wright

 Matthew Wright

Olympic gold medallist, Rebecca Adlington

 Rebecca Adlington

Princess Diana’s dress designer, David Emanuel

 David Emanuel

Eastenders’ Big Mo, Laila Morse

 Laila Morse

Fresh Prince star, Alfonso Ribeiro

 Alfonso Ribeiro

Emmerdale’s Chas, Lucy Pargeter

 Lucy Pargeter

So, there we have it: the I’m a Celebrity… cast of 2013. Not a great one, you might think (or is that just me?) but I’m sure they’ll throw up a few surprises. I expect that Matthew and Laila will cause an argument or two…

All images ©ITV 

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! begins Sunday at 9:00pm on ITV

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here NOW! begins Sunday at 10:30pm on ITV2, with Laura Whitmore, Joe Swash and Rob Beckett

What do you think of this year’s I’m a Celebrity… line-up? Will you even be watching the show? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

This Week in TV – 9th – 15th November

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with nights dedicated to the Quo, the Doctor and some yellow bear named Pudsey…

Saturday 9th November

Status Quo Night

BBC2, 9:00pm

BBC2’s celebration of 80s rock band Status Quo tonight kicks off with an edited version of Alan G Parker’s documentary, Hello Quo – previously exclusive to DVD.

This feature-length programme recounts the band’s story – from Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster’s beginnings as school friends to selling an incredible 128 million albums across the world, having added John Coghlan and Rick Parfitt to the line-up. There are also contributions from famous Quo fans, including Brian May, Paul Weller and even Sir Cliff!

Then, after Hello Quo, at 10:20pm, a selection of the band’s best appearances on Top of the Pops are presented in TOTP2: Status Quo.

Also today: Chris Hollins and Helen Skelton present The Lord Mayor’s Show coverage (BBC1, 10:45am); there’s a music-themed Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 5:40pm); Claudia steps in for Brucie (thanks, Claud!) for the seventh week of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 6:30pm); Fool Britannia concludes (ITV, 6:30pm); Shane Lynch, Stephen K Amos, Colin Jackson and Emmerdale’s Fiona Wade are on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); it’s Big Band Week on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Huw Edwards presents The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance (BBC1, 9:15pm); and Jonathan Ross chats to Celine Dion, Andy Murray, Johnny Vegas and John Barrowman (ITV, 9:35pm).

Sunday 10th November


Sky1 HD, 6:30pm

If you liked Horrible Histories, I have a feeling you’re going to love this!

From the writers of the aforementioned CBBC hit comes Yonderland: a brand-new sitcom about a thirty-something mum who unexpectedly finds herself in a world of bizarre and idiotic characters.

Debbie is in her kitchen when an Elf appears from one of the cupboards, announcing that she is The Special One and is needed in another world. Intrigued, and deciding that her only other option would be to sit and watch daytime TV, she decides to follow the Elf through the portal into this other world.

She must help the people and creatures in her new world by solving their problems and trying to stop some of them from doing bad. The question is: will she be able to do it?

And the other question is: will she be back in time to pick the kids up from school?

Also today: The Puppini Sisters perform in Strictly Come Dancing: The Results (BBC1, 7:20pm); Robbie Williams makes his obligatory annual appearance on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Chris Naunton presents Secret History (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Richard Hammond Builds a Universe – the follow up to last week’s Builds a Planet – is on BBC1 at 9:00pm; this series of Downton Abbey ends with a feature-length episode (ITV, 9:00pm); John Bridcut presents one-off documentary Requiem (BBC4, 9:00pm); Our Soldiers: Return to Civvy Street (More4, 9:00pm) sees servicemen go back to civilian life; and the BAFTA-winning The Revolution Will Be Televised returns (BBC3, 10:25pm).

Monday 11th November

The Paul O’Grady Show 

ITV, 5:00pm

Cast your mind right back to 2005. Blair was still in power, Twitter was just an idea in Jack Dorsey’s head, and the names Susan Boyle, Harry Styles and Justin Bieber were unheard of outside of their hometowns. Paul O’Grady was also poised to be the host some new reality show called Britain’s Got Talent and millions of Brits were sitting down to eat their teas (sorry, Southerners, “dinner”)in the company of him and his dog, Buster. However, behind the scenes there were tensions: Granada – the show’s production company – had reportedly ‘forgotten’ to renew Paul’s contract, was paying him less than he wanted and would not give him more creative control over the show. So he jumped ship to Channel 4 – but The Paul O’Grady Show ended there in December 2009.

Since then, the bigwigs with whom Paul clashed so often have left ITV themselves, allowing him to return to the network to present Paul O’Grady Live and, of course, his award-winning and heart-warming documentary series, For the Love of Dogs. And now he’s back for more teatime fun with the twelfth series of The Paul O’Grady Show. And The Organ Game’s back, too!

Coming up this week, Paul will be welcoming Alan Carr, Sir Cliff Richard, Mel C, Patsy Kensit and many, many more onto his sofa. For his first episode tonight, however, Louis Walsh, Helen Worth and The Saturdays will be dropping by.

Also today: Neighbourhood Blues is back (BBC1, 9:15am); Peter Andre presents a new series of 60 Minute Makeover (ITV, 2:00pm); Jimmy McGovern’s daytime drama Moving On returns (BBC1, 2:15pm); Got Thin: Got Fat Again! (Channel 5, 9:00pm) follows Big Brother star Josie Gibson and her weight problems; Michael Bolton hosts Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC2, 10:00pm) – which will presumably be less eventful than last week; one-off documentary Storyville (BBC4, 10:00pm) tells the story of an ambitious entrepreneur; and video showcase The Shooting Gallery (Channel 4, Midnight) begins.

Tuesday 12th November


BBC2, 10:00pm

Jason Cook’s popular sitcom about a North-Eastern family returns for a second series.

Starring comedians Chris Ramsey and Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) alongside Kimberley Nixon, Gina McKee and Cook himself, Hebburn hit our screens last year and, while some local residents took objection, it was generally well received – so much so that it was named Best New TV Sitcom in the British Comedy Guide’s annual awards and was swiftly commissioned for this second series and a Christmas special.

As we left the Pearsons in the first series, Jack and Sarah (Ramsey and Nixon) were getting married – for the second time. Only this time the family knew about it – the first time, it was secret. Of course, the wedding day also saw Jack’s dad, Joe, have a stroke, so as we rejoin the family, mum Pauline is having to return to work – but is struggling. Elsewhere, pregnant Sarah is becoming more anxious to move out and Granny Dot has a windfall!

Watch out for Geordie actor Tim Healy and Mackem actress Melanie Hill in this series, too.

Also today: Martin Lewis Money Show: The Twelve Saves of Christmas (ITV, 8:00pm); new documentary series All Aboard: East Coast Trains (Sky Living, 8:00pm); Strange Days: Cold War Britain (BBC2, 9:00pm); Mark-Williams Thomas and Natasha Kaplinsky present Missing Without Trace (ITV, 9:00pm); Snow, Sex and Suspicious Parents (BBC3, 9:00pm) follows young people misbehaving on skiing holidays; Richard Alwyn presents the first of three episodes of Cathedrals (BBC4, 9:00pm); and a treat for any fans of musicals as The Story of Musicals begins (Channel 4, 9:00pm) with a look at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the title of this week’s Imagine (BBC1, 10:35pm) is Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy and, finally, smash-hit musical Cabaret is on BBC1 at 12:05am.

Wednesday 13th November


ITV, 8:00pm

Yes, after a very successful quarter of a century on our screens, tonight Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will solve his last-ever case.

In this final instalment, the immobilised sleuth and his old friend Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) must return to their first case in order to prevent a looming murder.

As well as Hugh Fraser and, of course, David Suchet, Curtain: Poirot’s Final Case stars Matthew McNulty, Anne Reid, Philip Glenister and Helen Baxendale.

Then, after the News, Being Poirot (10:35pm) sees the man behind the eponymous detective, David Suchet, set off on a personal journey to investigate the appeal of the character and why the Belgian will forever hold a place in murder mystery lovers’ hearts around the world.

Also today: DIY SOS: Million Pound Build for Children in Need (BBC1, 8:00pm); documentary series Tudor Monastery Farm (BBC2, 9:00pm) begins; 24 Hours in A&E returns (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Channel 5 shows one-off documentary JFK’s Secret Killer: The Evidence (9:00pm); Bouffants, Beehives and Bobs: The Hairstyles That Have Shaped Britain is on BBC4 at 9:00pm; and Jack Dee hosts the first episode of Crackanory (Dave, 10:00pm), in which comedy stars read humorous fiction for adults.

Thursday 14th November

Doctor Who Night 

BBC2, 9:00pm

You can’t have failed to notice that this year marks five decades since William Hartnell first stepped into that blue phone box and the longest-running sci-fi series ever began. Well, tonight the BBC’s many celebratory programmes begin, firstly with The Science of Doctor Who.

Recorded at the Royal Institute of Great Britain, Professor Brian Cox takes the audience – both live in the lecture theatre and at home – on a journey into the wonderful world of The Doctor, revealing the physics behind the Time Lord’s space travel.

Then the tone is lowered somewhat with a repeat of a Doctor Who-themed edition of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. David Tennant oversees proceedings while his Who co-stars Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins (who I would pay to see smash a mug in Phill Jupitus’s face and then storm off) are joined by Jamie Cullum and Jo Whiley.

Also today: Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton present Children in Need Rocks from the Hammersmith Apollo (BBC1, 8:00pm); it’s the last in the series of period drama Breathless (ITV, 9:00pm); John Bridcut presents Britten’s Endgame (BBC4, 9:00pm); and documentary The Day Kennedy Died is on ITV at 10:35pm.

Friday 15th November

Children in Need 

BBC1 & BBC2, 5:15pm

Yep, it really is a year since everyone was commenting on the nerve of the BBC to ask licence fee-payers to help abused children.

As ever, Auntie is going all-out to make this year’s Children in Need appeal the best and most successful ever. The fun begins with Terry Wogan and Esther Rantzen appearing on a special Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 5:15pm), Matt Baker and Alex Jones up the hype with The One Show (BBC1, 7:00pm) and then the six and a half hours-long extravaganza kicks off, with “Tezza” (I wonder if he’s receiving his usual fee this year…), Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton covering the first two-and-a-half hours.

Later, One Direction present with Fearne on BBC2 (10:00–10:35pm) before we hop back onto BBC1 for Terry, Zoe Ball and (a presumably very tired) Nick Grimshaw from 10:35pm until 2:05am.

Highlights will include specials of Room 101, Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Strictly and Holby City as well as performances from JLS, Union J, Dido and, er, Harry Hill and Greg James & Russell Kane. Should be interesting.

The cast of musicals such as Matilda, The Commitments and Spamalot also lend a hand.

Also today: A new episode of The Simpsons (Channel 4, 6:00pm); Impractical Jokers star Joel Dommett presents the first of three episodes of Doctor Who: Greatest Monsters and Villains Weekend (BBC3, 7:05pm); Britten at the Proms (BBC4, 7:30pm); Paul McCartney in Concert (BBC4, 9:30pm); and Russell Brand, Adam Hills and The Wanted are on Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

This Week in TV – 2nd – 8th November

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – featuring a few thespians, a couple of physicians and one famous, former politician.

Saturday 2nd November

Live From the National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage

BBC2, 9:00pm

Last month marked fifty years since the National Theatre opened, and to celebrate, the BBC are broadcasting this one-off special, in which some of the country’s finest actors of stage and screen'Live From the National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage' - BBC2, 9:00pm  will appear to pay tribute to the venue and company which has been responsible for some of our biggest theatrical hits.

The two hour-long event has been directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner (the man behind some of the National’s most unforgettable productions, including Miss Saigon, The History Boys and, most recently, One Man, Two Guvnors) and will include rare archive footage and live performances of scenes from some of the company’s most groundbreaking and best-loved productions.

The plethora of stars who will be taking part this evening include Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, James Corden, Derek Jacobi and Benedict Cumberbatch – to name just a few.

Also today: A spooky Strictly (BBC1, 6:30pm); Gyles Brandreth and Alex Jones are among the participants on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); it’s Disco Week over at The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); and Steve Coogan, the Pet Shop Boys and Paul Hollywood (that should be interesting…) drop by for The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:50pm).

Sunday 3rd November

Richard Hammond Builds a Planet

BBC1, 9:00pm

In this one-off documentary, the Top Gear host takes on the ultimate project: creating a planet'Richard Hammond Builds a Planet' - BBC1, 9:00pm which  is fit for human life.

From the top of a tower in the Californian desert, Richard will use astounding graphics and technology to create, piece by piece, an entirely new, virtual planet which would be suitable for humans to live on.

Of course, there will also be more than a few science lessons along the way, as Richard has a team of experts on hand to explain such complex issues as the laws of physics and what is required for ‘the perfect planet’.

Also today: The Story of the Swastika (BBC1, 1:15pm); Grease (Channel 4, 5:50pm); Madness perform on Strictly Come Dancing: The Results (BBC1, 7:20pm), while Little Mix and Taylor Swift are on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Simon King and Kate Humble present Africa’s Last Oasis: Countdown to the Rains (BBC2, 8:00pm); movie 2012 premieres (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Searching for Exile: Truth or Myth? is on BBC4 (9:00pm); Robert Webb joins his comedy partner David Mitchell on Was It Something I Said? (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and one-off documentary No Fire Zone, investigating the Sri Lankan government’s alleged war crimes, is on Channel 4 at 10:50pm.

Monday 4th November

Fresh Meat

Channel 4, 10:00pm

Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong’s comedy-drama about a group of university students returns for a'Fresh Meat' - Channel 4, 10:00pm third series tonight.

As we left the Manchester Medlock students at the end of the last series, changes were afoot as JP (Jack Whitehall) had just bought the house, but Oregon and Vod were off travelling and Josie was transferring to Southampton.

So, will everyone be reunited in their second year at uni or will it still just be JP, Howard and Kingsley living in the house? Well, spoiler alert!, yes they will – alongside two new characters in the form of Javier (who Vod met in South America) and fresher Candice. They both look set to shake things up on campus and in the house.

Also today: The Remembrance Week commemorations begin (BBC1, 9:15am); new property series Beat my Build (Channel 4, 11:00am); The Indian Doctor is back (BBC1, 2:15pm); John Barrowman fronts new game show Pressure Pad (BBC1, 3:00pm); Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds begins (BBC1, 3:45pm); Antiques Road Trip returns (BBC1, 4:30pm), with Fern Britton and Phil Vickery the first couple on the celebrity version on BBC2 (7:00pm); MasterChef: The Professionals (8:30pm) and The Choir (9:00pm) are back on BBC2; The Woman With 40 Cats…and Other Pet Hoarders proves that, even after their …And Proud series, Channel 5 can still sink lower (9:00pm); and the first series of sketch show Cardinal Burns comes to Channel 4 (10:50pm).

Tuesday 5th November

Embarrassing Bodies: The Man With Half a Face

Channel 4, 9:00pm

This one-off, special edition of Embarrassing Bodies sees Dr Christian help a man who, four years  ago, lost half of his face to cancer.'Embarrassing Bodies: The Man With Half a Face' - Channel 4, 9:00pm

After a tumour meant that half of his face was removed, 60-year-old Eric Moger suffered for just under five years. However, with the help of the Embarrassing Bodies team, the lives of Eric and his fiancée Karen are about to change as they find a way to help him regain the ability to speak and eat properly, as well as rebuild his confidence in his appearance.

The hour-long programme will show how, with Eric and Karen’s wedding drawing nearer, his disfigurement is corrected with the help of some of the country’s leading experts.

Also today: After a seven year-long absence, Sunday Scoop host Kaye Adams returns as anchor of Loose Women (ITV, 12:30pm); The Escape Artist continues (BBC1, 9:00pm); Iceland Foods: Life in the Freezer Cabinet concludes (BBC2, 9:00pm); and one-off documentary Autism: Challenging Behaviour is on BBC4 at 9:00pm.

Wednesday 6th November

Newsflash: Stories That Stopped the World 

ITV, 10:35pm

Before the internet and 24 hour rolling news, if a huge news story was breaking, broadcasters would have no choice but to interrupt TV schedules to keep the nation informed. This one-off programme tells the stories behind the stories, hearing from those who were caught up in the action or responsible for helping to bring the latest news into people’s homes.

Newscasters including Alistair Stewart, Mary Nightingale and John Suchet will share their own newsflash experiences, including the announcement of the 1988 Lockerbie attacks, and the deaths of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and Princess Diana in 1997.

Also today: Watchdog finishes its current run (BBC1, 8:00pm); Richard Bilton presents Britain on the Fiddle (BBC1, 9:00pm); Ambassadors concludes (BBC2, 9:00pm); Supersized: Too Fat to Fly is on Channel 5 (9:00pm); Simon Armitage fronts Speeches That Shook the World (BBC4, 9:00pm); Gareth Bale: Welsh Galactico and One Born: What Happened Next? are on ITV4 and More4, respectively, at 10:00pm; The Cruel Cut (Channel 4, 10:45pm) takes a look at the horrors of female genital mutilation; and Claudia Winkleman returns with Film 2013 (BBC1, 11:05pm).

Thursday 7th November

Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population 

BBC2, 9:00pm

In Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population, Swedish Doctor, Hans Rosling uses cutting-edge technology to present an alternative view on the rise of the world’s population. While everyone else  seems to think that the expansion of the population is a'Don't Panic: The Truth About Population' - BBC2, 9:00pm bad thing, Professor Rosling disagrees.

Throughout this ‘as-live’ presentation, he will try to make us realise that, while we are all believing in the so-called ‘population explosion’, birth rates are actually rapidly decreasing, meaning that in just a few generations’ time, the population growth will actually be level once again.

Professor Rosling also reveals the results of his ‘Great British Ignorance’ survey, which shows that us Brits’ perceptions of the population and the future of the planet are more than a little outdated, and tells of how, even for developing countries, the future is bright.

Also today: Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast (More4, 9:00pm); and Bouncers is back (Channel 4, 10:00pm), this time in Essex.

Friday 8th November

Have I Got News For You 

BBC1, 9:00pm

There are some episodes of Have I Got News For You that are simply unforgettable and will go down in the show’s history. Take the episode in which Roy Hattersley failed to turn up, so was replaced by a tub of lard. Or the many episodes with Boris Johnson. Or – and who can forget this? – Angus Deayton’s tabloid shame and subsequent final episode. Many great moments.

Tonight’s episode is also likely to go down in HIGNFY history: not only is it the twenty-third time that Alexander Armstrong has hosted the show (a record for any guest presenter) but controversial former UKIP member Godfrey Bloom is on the panel!

Now, I have to say that I strongly dislike Bloom but I have to admire his bravery for actually agreeing to go on the show. He must know that he’s not in for an easy ride! In fact, he has said of his forthcoming appearance, ‘I very much look forward to regretting being on the show’.

I think he is going to regret it pretty swiftly. It should be a great episode, though.

Also today: Stobart: Trucks, Trains & Planes returns (Channel 5, 8:00pm); documentary Cold War, Hot Jets begins (BBC2, 9:00pm); Zoe Ball presents The Nation’s Favourite Elvis Song (ITV, 9:00pm); Greatest Kids’ TV Shows (Channel 5, 9:00pm) features contributions from many children’s TV presenters; Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (BBC4, 9:00pm) profiles the musician; Sarah Millican, Bill Bailey and Jason Manford are on QI (BBC2, 10:00pm); Robin Thicke, Paul O’Grady and Jack and Michael Whitehall are on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); Cliff Richard, Jude Law, Greg Davies and, er, Dot Cotton are on The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); action film Wanted is on ITV at 11:05pm; and puppet comedy pilot Fuzzbox is on BBC3 (11:45pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Live From the National: 50 Years on Stage – Thanks to BBC and Philip Vile, ©Philip Vile; Richard Hammond Builds a Planet – ©BBC; Fresh Meat – Thanks to Channel 4 Television and Ray Burmiston; Embarrassing Bodies: The Man With Half a Face – Thanks to Channel 4 Television and UNP; Don’t Panic: The Truth About Population – Thanks to BBC, Wingspan Productions and Brian Ritchie, ©Wingspan Productions