Category Archives: ’10 O’Clock Live’

TV Highlights (11th – 17th May)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV.

Saturday 11th May

The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane

BBC2, 9:00pm

Over the last few weeks, The Many Faces of… has profiled legendary British talent – from Sid James (who would have reached the age of 100 last week) to Michael Crawford. Tonight, as the title suggests, it is Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane.

The programme, which is followed by an episode of Blackadder the Third starring Coltrane, delves into the actor’s life and work: from his roots as an edgy stand-up comic to his more well-known roles as the psychologist, Fitz in ITV’s Cracker and of course the half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise.

The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane features interviews with his Cracker co-star, Geraldine Somerville; its writer, Jimmy McGovern; Harry Potter creator JK Rowling; and fellow Hogwarts attendee, Rupert Grint.

Also today: James Cameron’s hit sci-fi film Avatar is on Channel 4 at 7:45pm; Britain’s Got Talent continues (ITV, 7:45pm); the first of this weekend’s two instalments of The Voice UK is on BBC1 (8:35pm); the Redknapps, Yoko Ono, Vin Diesel and Bastille appear on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:45pm); and Unzipped’s Russell Kane and Greg James present How to Win Eurovision (BBC3, 9:50pm).

Sunday 12th May

The BAFTA Television Awards

BBC1, 8:00pm 'The BAFTA Television Awards' - BBC1, 8:00pm

Graham Norton (pictured) once again oversees proceedings for the sixtieth BAFTA Television Awards ceremony.

The list of categories for this year is huge, all with deserving nominees, so I’m going to pick out just five, with my winner written in red:

Drama Series in 2013

Silk (BBC1)

Scott & Bailey (ITV)

Ripper Street (BBC1)

Last Tango in Halifax (BBC1)

Entertainment Performance in 2013

This is a difficult one…

Graham Norton (The Graham Norton Show, BBC1)

Ant & Dec (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, ITV)

Alan Carr (Alan Carr: Chatty Man, Channel 4)

Sarah Millican (The Sarah Millican Television Programme, BBC2)

Situation Comedy in 2013

The Thick of It (BBC2)

Hunderby (Sky Atlantic)

Episodes (BBC2)

Twenty Twelve (BBC2)

Mini-Series in 2013

Room at the Top (BBC4)

Mrs Biggs (ITV)

Accused (BBC1)

Parade’s End (BBC2)

Radio Times Audience Award in 2013

This is the only BAFTA Television award which is voted for by the public

Call the Midwife (BBC1)

The Great British Bake Off (BBC2)

Homeland (Channel 4)

Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic/Sky1)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1)

Olympics Opening Ceremony (BBC1)

Well it has to be the Olympics, doesn’t it?

Special Awards are being given to Clare Balding and Delia Smith, with the prestigious Fellowship being awarded to Michael Palin.

Also today: the original (and the best) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Channel 5, 3:30pm); the 1998 version of Godzilla (Channel 5, 5:35pm); the Battle Rounds conclude in The Voice UK (BBC1, 7:00pm); Paddy Considine and Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman lead the cast in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (ITV, 8:00pm); boyband JLS, who recently announced their split, are trying to win the top £250,000 prize in Celebrity Deal or no Deal (Channel 4, 8:00pm); and the hilarious (or is that just because I’m sixteen…) The Inbetweeners Movie gets a welcome repeat (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Monday 13th May

Frost on Sketch Shows

BBC4, 9:00pm

Both the history and future of sketch shows are examined in this one-off documentary, which sees legendary broadcaster Sir David Frost talk to other big names in the genre.

Over the hour, Frost examines sketch shows: from his very own satirical programmes That Was the Week That Was and The Frost Report to timeless classics like Morecambe & Wise, The Two'Frost on Sketch Shows' - BBC4, 9:00pm Ronnies and Monty Python’s Flying Circus and modern favourites such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.

Through interviews with Stephen Fry (who, together with his ‘colleague’ Hugh Laurie, created gems like this and this), Ronnie Corbett and Michael Palin, Frost will share his views and ultimately answer this question: can the British sketch show continue to flourish and survive?

Also today, lots of new series: May the Best House Win returns (ITV, 2:00pm); small charities are championed in Auction Hero (BBC2, 8:00pm); Ade Edmondson is back to front a new series of The Dales (ITV, 8:00pm); Victoria Coren befuddles us once more in Only Connect (BBC4, 8:30pm); Gillian Anderson stars as a Metropolitan Police detective who is investigating a murder in Belfast in new five-part drama The Fall (BBC2, 9:00pm); and Skint follows the unemployed in Scunthorpe (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Tuesday 14th May


BBC1, 9:00pm

Torchwood’s Eve Myles (pictured) stars in this six-part drama about a dedicated district nurse.

Frankie is a heart-warming, funny and ultimately life-affirming series written by Lucy Gannon, who received critical acclaim last year for her Paralympics-themed drama The Best of Men (which, I’m ashamed to say, I still have unwatched on my Sky+ box. I will get round to seeing it at some'Frankie' - BBC1, 9:00pm point…). The eponymous lead, to reiterate, is a dedicated nurse – but she does have a childlike persona and constantly remains upbeat and optimistic, mainly because she feels it is her duty to do so in order to lift her patients’ spirits.

There are three men in Frankie’s life: her long-term boyfriend, Ian (Dean Lennox-Kelly); her colleague and confidante, Andy (Derek Riddell); and Ken Bruce – although perhaps the least said about that, the better…

I’m genuinely looking forward to Frankie. Not only does it have a great cast but it is written by the reputable Lucy Gannon and features a protagonist who, despite her important job, has a more playful side to her and doesn’t let life get her down – just what we need!

Also today: Ana Matronic (one fifth of the Scissor Sisters) and Radio 1’s Scott Mills present Eurovision Song Contest: Semi-Final One (BBC3, 8:00pm).

Wednesday 15th May

10 O’Clock Live

Channel 4, 10:00pm

10 O’Clock Live reaches its fourth episode this week and, while I like and look forward to it, I can’t help thinking that this series may be its last.'10 O'Clock Live' - Channel 4, 10:00pm

Every week, there seems to be a new article published which suggests the flaws in 10 O’Clock Live but I honestly don’t know how it can be improved. Undoubtedly, it should be improved (a show featuring a quartet as talented as this should be much more entertaining) but I think everyone involved is doing their utmost to make the show work.

I mean, let’s face it, 10 O’Clock Live isn’t that bad. It’s no Vicious or The Wright Way, is it? I suppose it can be a bit clunky at times and awkward to watch when a joke falls on deaf ears but the only way I can think to fix that is to record the show the day before transmission. But then 10 O’Clock Pre-Recorded isn’t as catchy a title, is it?

No, I’m quite happy for the show to plod on the way it is, discussing the week’s top (mainly political) news with the mixture of seriousness and frivolity it warrants. So long as Jimmy continues with his witty quips, Charlie remains perpetually incensed, David carries on dropping his ‘logic bombs’ and the press cease pointing out that Lauren Laverne’s role on the show is not much more than ‘The Other One’, I’ll be content.

Also today: Kirsty and Phil are back for more Location, Location, Location (Channel 4, 8:00pm); and this week’s task is to produce and pitch flat-pack furniture in The Apprentice (BBC1, 9:00pm).

Thursday 16th May

The Tube: An Underground History

BBC2, 9:00pm

Last year, BBC2 screened The Tube, a documentary series about the London Underground. Tonight, BBC2 are screening The Tube: An Underground History, a documentary about the London Underground.

It’s nice to see that the licence fee goes on new programming, eh?

This documentary, celebrating 150 years of the London transport service, tells the story from the perspectives of its long-term employees. From line drivers to supervisors and customer care assistants, a range of tube workers offer an insight into the reasons for its discovery in 1863, the history of the stations and how the whole system changed, and continues to change, London.

Also today: Dan Snow presents live from RAF Scampton in The Dambusters: 70 Years On (BBC2, 7:00pm); the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life is investigated in Aliens: Are We Alone? (Channel 5, 8:00pm); and Scott Mills and Ana Matronic are back to present Eurovision Song Contest: Semi-Final Two (BBC3, 8:00pm).

Friday 17th May

Not Going Out

BBC1, 9:30pm

I think it’s fair to say that the quality of Not Going Out has deteriorated slightly (and only slightly) since Tim Vine’s departure. His character’s banter with Lee was a great source of humour in the initial five series'Not Going Out' - BBC1, 9:30pm, so his absence was obviously going to be felt. However, it’s still a brilliant show, with each episode guaranteed to produce more than a few hilarious one-liners, and can still hold its own against many of its comedy contemporaries.

Tonight’s episode sees Lee (pictured, middle) desperately vie for Lucy’s (left) attention, as her first love, Scott (right) returns from Africa and produces a play in which he wants her to star.

Also today: Warwick Davis, Joan Bakewell and Jason Manford offer an array of truths and lies for their fellow panellists’ assessment in Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); Life of Crime continues (ITV, 9:00pm); the week’s news is discussed in Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); Rod Stewart, the Made in Chelsea cast and Miles Kane drop in on Alan Carr for Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Daniel Radcliffe pulls up a pew on The Graham Norton Show (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 about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,466 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.


TV Highlights (20th – 26th april)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV.

Saturday 20th April

The Many Faces of Michael Crawford

BBC2, 8:30pm

Ooh Betty! Tonight, BBC2 are celebrating the fantastic Michael Crawford by airing a repeat of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (the one where Jessica is born) as well as a brand new episode of its The Many Faces of series dedicated to the actor.

The one-hour long documentary will profile Michael’s career with focus of course on his role as the accident-prone Frank Spencer (in the aforementioned Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) and his turn in Lord Lloyd Webber’s smash hit, Phantom of the Opera. For example, did you know that Crawford initially turned down the role as the Phantom, but after Lord Webber and his (then) wife happened to hear him rehearsing with a vocal coach, he was persuaded to rethink and was offered the job almost instantly.

Also today: The excellent impressionist Francine Lewis (who some of you may recognise from Very Important People) impresses the judges on Britain’s Got Talent on ITV at 7:00pm (my review of this week’s episode is here); The Voice UK has waved its white flag and is now on at the later time of 8:20pm, BBC1; and Steve Coogan, Saoirse Ronan and are all on the sofa for The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:30pm).

Sunday 21st April

Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero

BBC2, 8:00pm

In this series, Bill (pictured) travels through Borneo, encountering monkeys, macaques and frogs (I at least tried alliteration…) along the way.3785989-low-bill-baileys-junge-heroes

However, the main aim of this two-part series is to discover more about Alfred Russell Wallace. ‘Who?’ you’re probably saying – and that’s because he is little-known, despite having theorised evolution at around the same time as Charles Darwin, who I’m sure you’re most familiar with. Bill wants to pay tribute to Wallace, as he is too often over looked and seldom credited for his theory.

Usually my attitude towards nature documentaries is, If David Attenborough isn’t involved then I’m not watching it. However, Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero seems to be quite a good programme. Not only have we the studies of the weird and wonderful creatures which have been filmed along the way, but we have a lesson about Wallace and  a somewhat eccentric presenter, whose humour and enthusiasm will no doubt make it a worthwhile watch.

Also today: Jonathan Edwards hosts coverage of the London Marathon (BBC1, 8:30pm); Jurassic Park is on ITV at 3:55pm; and Jonathan Ross celebrates the work of Alfred Hitchcock in Perspectives (ITV, 10:00pm).

Monday 22nd April


ITV, 9:00pm

I sort of wanted to avoid writing about Broadchurch – I didn’t want to have to read about it and risk discovering who Danny Latimer’s elusive killer is. So, forgive me if the following synopsis doesn’t offer much insight into this weeks’ episode. Then again, I’m sure you want spoilers just as little as I do.

Broadchurch has been a brilliantly gripping drama, throwing viewers clues and red herrings week after week, therefore keeping us on the edge of our seats. It’s also made me not be able to watch Birds of a Feather without thinking of Pauline Quirke as anything other than a twisted bitch.

Of course, as this is the last episode, the killer will be revealed: could it be Mark or Chloe (Danny’s dad and sister), Nige (Mark’s colleague); Reverend Paul Coates; or possibly DI Alec Hardy or DS Ellie Miller, both of whom are investigating the case. Hardy’s name has been discussed but I don’t remember Ellie ever having been looked into. Could it be that, as a friend of the Latimer family, she has managed to remove her name from the list of suspects by investigating the case?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Also today: Sandi Toksvig’s quite entertaining quiz show (even if it was only me who thought of it that way), 1001 Things You Should Know begins its second series (Channel 4, 3:30pm); and Ben Fogle visits Australia’s Restoration Island in the first of his new series, New Lives in the Wild (Channel 5, 9:00pm).

Tuesday 23rd April

The Wright Way 

BBC1, 10:35pm

From the anarchic Young Ones to the masterful Blackadder, Ben Elton has already well and truly left his mark on British comedy. However, he’s back with another tonight: The Wright Way, focusing on a Head of Health & Safety whose family and colleagues make his life the chaotic mess that it is.

4063124-low-the-wright-way The Wright Way seems very much like The Thin Blue Line – another of Elton’s sitcoms which was set in a police station, with an array of brilliant characters occupying it (most notably, James Dreyfus as the too-camp-to-be-heterosexual-yet-apparently-heterosexual PC Kevin Goody). However, their workplace settings aren’t the only things which link these two shows: they also star David Haig (DI Derek ‘Stop Fannying About’ Grimm in TTBL, Gerald Wright in TWW) and Mina Anwar (TTBL’s Constable Maggie Habib, TWW’s Malika). Both Gerald (centre, left) and Malika (centre, right) are fiercely passionate about the upholding of Health & Safety regulations, so it would be fair to suggest that this is where most of the comedy will stem from.

I’ll give any comedy a go. However, the fact that The Wright Way has been penned by Ben Elton makes me even more eager to watch it. Despite his track record, though, I do worry that it is going to be filled with stock characters and (as The Telegraph’s James Walton dubbed Life of Riley in 2009) ‘another half-an-hour firmly on Planet Sitcom: that strange world where people behave not like anybody in real life, but merely like people in other sitcoms.’ I really hope I’m proven wrong.

Also today: the only show where it’s acceptable to expose your genitals via webcam, Embarrassing Bodies: Live From the Clinic returns (Channel 4, 8:00pm); the final episode of The Great British Sewing Bee is on BBC2 at 8:00pm; find out what repercussions Mandy faces in the last in the series of The Syndicate (BBC1, 9:00pm); and Edward VIII’s Murderous Mistress (Channel 4, 9:00pm) explores the story behind an affair which the monarch apparently had before his ascension to the throne.

Wednesday 24th April

10 O’Clock Live 

Channel 4, 10:00pm

Who else remembers Channel 4’s huge campaign in 2011 for 10 O’Clock Live? They advertised it on TV, in newspapers and on billboards, all ready for the opening episode. Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne from BBC 6 Music were all about to have our sides splitting with their satirical take on the week’s big news.

Two years on, we’re still waiting for that to happen.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little too harsh. I actually like 10 O’Clock Live and am quite glad that it’s 10OClockLivetouseback for a third year. I just hope they get it right this time. All of the presenters have their own qualities to contribute. David (far left) chairs the often heated discussion between guests, and regularly drops his (in Jimmy’s words) ‘logic bombs’, as he does on almost every panel show he appears on – so pretty much every panel show. Charlie (second left) delivers his weekly monologues (read rants), fuelled by irritation and often a want to point out the complete hypocrisy of the nation. Lauren Laverne (second right) appears to keep the show running, introducing topics and chipping in on the rare occasion that the boys haven’t anything to say. Many have pointed out that Lauren is a bit redundant on 10 O’Clock Live but I’m not going to be so unkind – mainly because she’s from Sunderland. Jimmy’s (yes, you guessed it, far right) opening monologues are always a treat, as are his sketches later in the show (which more often than not involve him donning some ridiculous costume).

10 O’Clock Live is certainly worth a try. Hopefully it will be third time lucky for the quartet and they will manage to strike the balance exactly right this time. They’ve produced memorable moments before (Charlie’s ‘Witch Hunt’ rhyme and Jimmy’s now infamous mocking of Barclays’ 1% tax scheme), and fingers crossed the next eight weeks will deliver many more.

Also today: Billy Connolly narrates Great Bear Stakeout, a two-part documentary about Alaskan grizzly bears (BBC1, 9:00pm); and, having been a victim of a road accident herself, Sophie Morgan investigates car collisions involving young people in Licence to Kill (BBC3, 9:00pm).

Thursday 25th April

The Politician’s Husband 

BBC2, 9:00pm

The Politician’s Husband (a companion to the multi-award-winning The Politician’s Wife) has been written by Paula Milne and centres around Aiden Hoynes (Broadchurch’s David Tennant) and Freya Gardner (Appropriate Adult’s Emily Watson), who are the golden couple of British politics.3949127-low-the-politicians-husband

After a failed attempt at leadership, Hoynes is thrown into political obscurity while his wife is appointed to Cabinet. She must choose either to bring to fruition the career she has for so long wished or support her husband at home, and therefore save her marriage.

Over the three-part series, we find out whether Hoynes and Gardner’s relationship is affected by the decision she has made.

Also today: Abby and Brittany: Joined for Life follows conjoined twins as they graduate from college (BBC3, 9:00pm); Ladyboys returns to Sky Living for a second series (9:00pm); Russell Howard’s Good News is back (BBC3, 10:00pm); and so is traditional sketch show Watson & Oliver (BBC2, 10:00pm).

Friday 26th April

Ben Earl: Trick Artist

Channel 4, 9:00pm

Whether it’s The Incredible Mr Goodwin, Derren Brown or Dynamo, magicians are undoubtedly popular at Ben Earl Mannequins midresthe minute. Therefore, Channel 4 have commissioned Ben Earl to produce a four-part series all about…magic!

Every week, Ben will be presenting a show from a warehouse, where he will perform tricks based on various themes. This week, it is that of Crime (next week, it’s Art) and we witness the illusionist catch a speeding bullet, teach an audience member how to pickpocket and leap from the top of a speeding car.


Also today: Iceland’s volcanic activity is investigated in Iceland: Ash Cloud Apocolypse (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Masterchef reaches the last of the semi-finals (BBC1, 8:30pm); docu-drama The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution looks at the works of JMW Turner (BBC2, 9:00pm); Sarah Millican, JLS and Laura Mvula take a seat on the Chatty Man sofa (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Lewis Hamilton, Dara O Briain, Pedro Almodovar and Alison Moyet are all dropping in for a chat on The Graham Norton Show (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 about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.