Category Archives: Channel 4

‘Host the Week’ (Channel 4) Review

Thursday night brought the latest of Channel 4’s experimental comedy vehicles, Host the Week, each episode of which sees a different celebrity present an hour of sketches and games that they are entirely unprepared for. As we were told at the top of the show, this week’s host Scarlett Moffatt had ‘no script’, ‘no rehearsal’ and ‘no idea what to expect’. One would assume that what they were aiming for was a cross between The Friday Night Project and the Australian improv hit, Thank God You’re Here. What they achieved, however, was something I previously thought impossible: they delivered a show so disastrous that it somehow left me yearning for the comparative halcyon days of 10 O’Clock Live.

Prior to sitting down to watch it in full on Friday, I did catch a glimpse of Host the Week as it was broadcast the previous night. I saw an anxious Scarlett seated at a desk, presenting a news bulletin (pictured below, right), in which she delivered two jokes in relation to the week’s events: one involved the likening of aScarlett Moffatt hosts a Channel 4 News bulletin with Krishnan Guru-Murthy ‘mandate’ to a date with a man, and the other pointed out, quite simply, that Donald Trump is orange. My heart sank. I didn’t hold out much hope for improvement when I watched the show in full, and lo and behold, my expectations were met. The topical gags – of which there were far fewer than one would expect from a show called Host the Week – were nothing more than recycled Twitter puns. We know that Ryanair’s not very good. We also know that Andy Murray’s dull and his mum’s domineering. These are clichés that have been exhausted time and again on shows like this, and it’s the mark of an uninspired writing team when they’re churned out in this way. I found myself hankering for some originality – just a little excitement – but none came.

Despite her claims that she’d had fun and ‘would do it all over again’, this seemed to me just one big sorry mess for Scarlett. Away from the comfort blanket of her parents on Gogglebox or Ant & Dec on Takeaway, this was her first time at the helm of something. This should have been her big    showcase before the launch of her new-look Streetmate later in the year, but with almost universal disdain for Host the Week, it will no doubt be Scarlett who’ll suffer Scarlett co-hosts her own chat show, 'That Morning', with guests Stepsunjustly as she’ll be first in the firing line for people’s criticism. The blame for this mess should not lie with her, though – rather, it should be put on the script she was being fed. Due to the nature of the show, she was helpless – completely unprepared and entirely at the mercy of the writers, who, even when one allows them leeway given it was the first episode, could and should have done so much better. This show is brought to us by 2/3s of the brilliant Pappy’s and can boast a writing team with credits like Cats Does Countdown, Not Going Out and Murder in Successville. Even without that pedigree, the strength and frequency of gags in this show should have been so much higher, but with it, it’s unbelievable. If one also takes into account that some of the writers have previously been involved with Have I Got News For You, Charlie Brooker’s Wipes, and The News Quiz on Radio 4, it’s surely inarguable that the number of fresh topical references across the hour ought to have been drastically increased, particularly given this is a show that purports to celebrate ‘the week’.

It’s quite evident that Channel 4 were trying to do something new, and they should actually be credited for that – far too often we, as viewers, bemoan the fact that too much comedy follows the same frameworks and lacks originality. It’s surely beyond dispute, however, that Host the Week has far from got off to a good start and will need quite an overhaul if it’s to escape the same fate as The Nightly Show and be written-off as a failure.

Image courtesy of Charlie Fearn, Tiger Aspect Production Limited and Channel 4

Unless otherwise stated, all images courtesy of Charlie Fearn, Scott Kershaw and Channel 4

Host the Week is on Thursdays at 10pm on Channel 4, with Jack Whitehall at the helm this week (29th June).

What did you think of Host the Week? Do you agree or disagree with this review? Please comment below or tweet @UKTVReviewer.

Alternatively, you can post on the UKTV Reviewer Facebook page.

‘Ballot Monkeys’ (Channel 4) Review

From the trusted pens of Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. and featuring a strong cast of comedy stars, Channel 4’s new Election-centred sitcom, Ballot Monkeys launched last night, focusing on the backstage goings-on aboard the Labour, Conservative, Lib-Dem and UKIP ‘battle buses’. Generally, it seemed to immediately impress viewers and critics alike – but left me slightly uncertain.

Hamilton and Jenkin are renowned for their rather unorthodox approach to making comedy; their last hit series before Ballot Monkeys, Outnumbered, was of course semi-improvised, and Drop the Dead Donkey, their 90s sitcom set in a television newsroom, often would not complete recording until a few hours before transmission, meaning that the tapes would have to be rushed to Channel 4 in time for their 10pm airing. Ballot Monkeys is filmed in a similar way, with much of the script not actually written until the last minute, allowing for as many topical gags as possible.

And in that respect, Ballot Monkeys worked very well – the stand-out moments from the episode were indeed those that referenced events of the past week. So, a fictional UKIP candidate calling the migrants who recently drowned off the coast of Libya ‘Labour’s new floating voters’, and two Liberals watching with horror Paddy Ashdown’s expletive-laden BBC News interview provided what were, for me, two of the most memorable and enjoyable scenes of the episode – but neither of which could have been achieved if the script had been written weeks in advance.

However, as is the obvious flaw in making TV in this way, it allowed the show to have a slight air of being tossed together at the last moment, and consequently not seem as consistent in quality as it arguably should have been. The hit-rate of gags was lower than I expected of the writers and assembled cast (which included Ben Miller, Sarah Hadland and Hugh Dennis) – and, while the episode was peppered with gems such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph, and smart one-liners from Sarah Hadland’s disastrous UKIP logistics advisor, I even thought that the satire on which Ballot Monkeys apparently prides itself was lacking true bite. The Herald’s Julie McDowall claimed that Ballot Monkeys ‘packed a far stronger satirical punch than ITV’s Newzoids’ but I would even have to disagree with that; for me, Newzoids’ portrayals of the political parties and their leaders were far more effective than those of Ballot Monkeys. And let’s face it: when someone thinks that your satire is inferior to that of a group of impressionists who use puppets and comedy songs as their main weapons, something has to be lacking.

So, perhaps it was just a quiet week for politics but this opening episode of Ballot Monkeys certainly didn’t get my vote in the way that it did other critics. What I believe it did do right, however, was hint at the rather shambolic decisions and ludicrous discussions that are made and had on the main parties’ ‘battle buses’ – so much so that it struck me as the right decision for Channel 4 to have scheduled it the day after the deadline for voting registration, because, if the characters in the show are at all representative of the campaign teams themselves, who’d let anyone like that run the country?The cast of 'Ballot Monkeys': Trevor Cooper, Sarah Hadland, Ben Miller and Hattie Morahan (left-right)Image credit: Thanks to Channel 4, Nicky Johnson and Hat Trick Productions 

Ballot Monkeys is on Tuesdays at 10:00pm on Channel 4

What did you think of Ballot Monkeys? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

This Christmas in TV – 1st – 5th December

It seems not long ago that I sat down to write about what festive treats the TV networks were serving up for us in 2013, yet here we are again: entering the final month of this year, which means it’s time for the Christmas specials to come creeping out once more. Unless, of course, you’ve been watching Channel 5 over the past few weeks; they’ve wasted no time at all in rolling out the festive films!

Monday 1st December

Phillip Schofield’s Text Santa Marathon

ITV, 10:30amPhillip Schofield's Text Santa Marathon - ITV3 from 11:00am

Since its launch in 2011, ITV’s Text Santa appeal has raised a huge £15 million for various charities across the UK. However, it still doesn’t seem to be having a huge impact on the nation. Maybe it’s too soon after Children in Need. Maybe it’s simply too close to Christmas. Whatever the reason, ITV’s third favourite presenter (after Messrs McPartlin and Donnelly, of course), Phillip Schofield, is hoping to raise more awareness for the cause and, hopefully, more money for the six charities involved – more information on which is available on the Text Santa website – by hosting a 24-hour telethon with the aid of some celebrity pals.

Dropping by to help Phil get through his time on air will be the stars of Coronation Street and  Emmerdale, Pixie Lott, The Vamps, Ben Hanlin, some former I’m a Celebrity campmates and even Ant & Dec themselves, on a live link from Australia.

The intrepid Silver Fox will also be getting involved in a few activities as his time on ITV3 – along with the occasional stint on ITV and ITV2 – will see him compete in a national pub quiz, host a live auction for top celebrity memorabilia, become an honorary Loose Woman for the day (ITV, 12:30pm) and be presented with what the network are calling ‘the challenge of a lifetime’…

If you want to make Phillip’s efforts worthwhile, you can donate to Text Santa via his Just Giving page. All proceeds to Text Santa are divided equally between the six chosen charities: Teenage Cancer Trust, WellChild, Together for Short Lives, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Guide Dogs and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Also today: Digital channel Gold kicks off its 25 Days of Christmas; BBC1 answers the question Could I Get Ebola? (7:30pm); Lauren Laverne presents coverage of the announcement of the winner of the Turner Prize (Channel 4, 7:30pm); Wild Weather With Richard Hammond begins by looking at wind (BBC1, 9:00pm); and Channel 5 counts down the Most Shocking TV Moments (10:00pm).

Tuesday 2nd December

17 Kids and Counting 

Channel 4, 9:00pm

Luckily for Schofe, following his 24-hour telethon, he might just be asleep when this documentary'17 Kids and Counting' - Channel 4, 9:00pm airs.

Since we last saw the Radford family as part of the series 16 Kids and Counting last year, a few things have changed. Some of the older children are now looking to leave home, which one may think would give parents Sue and Noel a chance to enjoy a – slightly – quieter home but ‘one’ would be wrong as they are now looking forward to becoming grandparents again.

This one-off documentary follows the Radfords as they prepare for their new arrival and deal with the general trials and tribulations of being Britain’s largest family.

Also today: The semi-final of UK’s Strongest Man (Channel 5, 7:00pm); a repeat of last year’s documentary, Britain’s Craziest Christmas Lights (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Autopsy looks at The Last Hours of Elvis Presley (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and there’s another chance to see the 2013 Christmas special of The Sarah Millican Television Programme (BBC2, 10:00pm) – which funnily enough features Phillip Schofield.

Wednesday 3rd December

The Apprentice 

BBC1, 9:00pm

After firing James last week – or Derek, as I believe he is now affectionately known – Lord Sugar sets the remaining eight candidates a task entitled ‘Ten Years of Discount Buying’.

Having been told the task by Lord Sugar personally at the'The Apprentice' - BBC1, 9:00pm house, Teams Summit and Tenacity set out across London in the hope of finding a range of items featured in the previous nine series of the show – but in the hope of spending the least amount of money, not the most. A bit like Supermarket Sweep in reverse.

Surprisingly, despite 20 candidates starting out, this series of The Apprentice has allowed many characters to shine through: Steven, Daniel, Felipe and, of course, the aforementioned James. My favourite candidate, however, and the person I’m rooting for throughout the ‘process’ (the very use of that word make me despise myself) is Katie (pictured, right). Ok, she may be a fellow Mackem but she is also a very good businesswoman, it seems; she’s forceful, brimming with determination and very clever. Unlike many candidates, though, she manages to be all of this without also coming across as vindictive and ruthless. I like to think of her as a slightly watered-down Luisa Zissman.

Of course, Dara Ó Briain follows the main show with the brilliant The Apprentice: You’re Fired! on BBC2. This week, he’s joined by entrepreneur, Mike Soutar and comedian, Romesh Ranganathan.

Also today: Chris Terrill presents documentary series Living on the Edge (Channel 5, 7:00pm); and I’m sure little description is needed for Asbo & Proud (Channel 5, 10:00pm).

Thursday 4th December

The Railway: First Great Western 

Channel 5, 8:00pm

This documentary series taking a look inside one of the UK’s largest rail companies returns for a  second series.'The Railway: First Great Western' - Channel 5, 8:00pm

Last year, we met many of the ticket inspectors, drivers and technical folk who help to keep First Great Western going day-to-day. We saw the daily struggles that they go through, coping with customer complaints, negative press and issues with the rail network, and tonight’s opening episode is no different as we find out how the staff managed to get through the bad weather of last winter.

Also today: Kirsty Young presents the final Crimewatch round up of the year (BBC1, 9:00pm).

Friday 5th December

The Graham Norton Show 

BBC1, 10:35pm

It’s quite widely noted that Graham Norton has a consistently high calibre of guests for his show –'The Graham Norton Show' - BBC1, 10:35pm arguably higher than that of Alan Carr and Jonathan Ross. Many use this argument as a case for  Graham’s show being in some way better than his contemporaries’ but I disagree: calibre doesn’t always equal entertainment in my opinion, and I often prefer to see British performers on such shows rather than big Hollywood types, who are no doubt sick of the seemingly endless queue of interviewers wanting to find out about their latest role.

The big names undoubtedly draw in huge audiences, though, and I can’t imagine a booking more guaranteed to do this than One Direction, who are chatting and performing on Graham’s show this week. They’re not alone on the sofa, though, as Michael Keaton and Jamie Oliver also drop by for a chat, and there will of course be more stories in the infamous Red Chair.

Fingers crossed Harry Styles can find some personality to prevent the interview from dragging along.

Also today: Jack Dee hosts Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); Ross Noble, Kathy Lette and Sue Perkins are quizzed on all things gender-related on QI (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Alan Carr welcomes George Ezra and Lee Evans, who will hopefully find the balance between absurdity and sincerity – unlike on The Jonathan Ross Show last week (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

The next This Week in TV (for 6th – 12th December) will be published at midnight on Monday (1st 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: Phillip Schofield’s Text Santa Marathon – ©ITV PLC; 17 Kids and Counting – Thanks to Channel 4 and Lion TV; The Apprentice – Thanks to BBC, ©Boundless/Jim Marks Photography; The Railway: First Great Western – Thanks to Channel 5; The Graham Norton Show – Thanks to BBC and Christopher Baines, ©So TV.

‘The Inbetweeners 2’ Review

After a three year hiatus, much anticipation and more publicity than Channel 4 could shake Will’s soiled exam pants at, today The Inbetweeners 2 was released nationwide in cinemas – and if the reactions of everyone who joined me in one of the first, packed screenings is anything to go by, has done what was hitherto deemed undoable, and surpassed its 2011 predecessor.

Beyond the worlds of soaps and Mrs Brown’s Boys, you would be hard-pushed to find a TV show with a legion of fans as die-hard and expectant as that of The Inbetweeners. With every new episode on TV and film in cinemas, audiences demand more and more in every sense – but, as we know, for many writers, this is seldom easy to deliver, resulting in very few sequels exceeding, or even meeting, expectations. One can only imagine, therefore, the pressure that The Inbetweeners scribes, Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, were under to create ninety minutes of film that would fulfil every little wish of their loyal fans. We wanted original, ingenious jokes, with the odd nod to old favourites thrown in; we wanted some character development, but no so much that Will, Simon, Jay and Neil had ceased having the traits and nuances for which we love them so much; and, most importantly as this is reportedly the last-ever outing for the lads, we wanted a fitting send-off. Thank God, then, that Morris and Beesley delivered exactly that in abundance.

As would be expected, the lads are no different to how they were when we last left them in 2011: Jay (James Buckley) and Neil (Blake Harrison) are still ‘calling “shotgun”’ and branding others ‘wankers’ (‘briefcase-‘, ‘bus-‘ or otherwise), and Simon’s (Joe Thomas) love life is as beautifully complicated as Will himself (Simon Bird). It’s very difficult to give the film a full review and convey how funny it is while also resisting the urge to reveal some of its best gags – verbal, visual and situational. However, the writers, to reiterate, absolutely deliver the goods by throwing up, as always, a surprise or two – whether that’s the unexpected return of characters, stinging one-liners or a bit of deus ex machina (look it up). Unlike in the original E4 series and first film, however, I felt that the pathos in The Inbetweeners 2 worked only intermittently, being perhaps laid on quite heavy in the latter half of the film. It did, though, show us the gentler side to the characters – particularly Jay – that we seldom get to see. In fact, we learn a lot about Jay in this film – most of all, that his crudeness, brashness and general social ineptitude may be genetic.

I’m sure I need not say it but any fan of The Inbetweeners will not be disappointed by this sequel; while perhaps all but one of the scenes stand-out as much as Neil’s dancing or the loss of Will’s glasses, Morris and Beesley have succeeded in writing ninety minutes of the expletive-laden, sex-fuelled, typically immature, but no less finely crafted, comedy that fans of the show crave and deserve. The companies behind a lot of films pack the best bits into the trailer – but all that you see in that for The Inbetweeners 2 is just the tip of the smutty iceberg.

The Inbetweeners 2 is in cinemas nationwide from today

What did you think of The Inbetweeners 2? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

‘The Singer Takes It All’ (Channel 4) Review

Described as ‘really groundbreaking’ by its host, Alan Carr, new interactive talent competition-cum-gameshow The Singer Takes It All began on Channel 4 tonight and saw an indifferent celebrity panel of two, some technical problems and a mixed reaction from the Twittersphere.

Despite my faith in Channel 4’s golden boy, Alan Carr, and inference from the much-shown trailer that The Singer Takes It All would be one of the few talent shows that was just out to entertain and wouldn’t take itself too seriously, I was worried. It just seemed to smack of failure straight away – a show that would be much-hyped in the days and weeks leading up to its debut, get a few column inches afterwards thanks to TV critics, and whimper out in six weeks’ time with only a fraction of its original audience, and perhaps someone expecting to see 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, tuning in.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not my prophecy about its fate will come to fruition but I have to say that I enjoyed the first episode. Obviously there are a few teething problems: I’m not quite sure about Lips (the commentator and score deliverer, voiced by 2005 X Factor semi-finalist, Brenda Edwards) and think that the interactive app – which determines whether or not a singer stays or goes, and is arguably the epicentre of the show – should have been tested more thoroughly beforehand. Oh, and I have a hunch that the conveyor belt gimmick will wear thin ten minutes into next Friday’s episode.

The format itself, however (a singer taking to the stage and, depending on whether the majority of the public deems them to be a ‘Hit’ or ‘Miss’, sailing through to the Gold Zone or being put in reverse, and disappearing through a cloud of smoke) is a pleasing one – but it’s not being used to its full potential! I, like many other viewers, found it quite amusing when CCJ and Tara Newton-Wordsworth (no relation, to my knowledge) were put in reverse and vanished through the smoke and agape doors. They weren’t bad singers – they perhaps just failed to live up to people’s expectations or hit a bit of a bum note. It seems that this format was made for bad singers, though: so where were they? The problem appears to be that because all of the contestants are on the show because they uploaded an audition clip to the The Singer Takes It All app and were voted for by its users, we only tend to see good singers, who, more often than not, sail through to the Gold Zone. We, the viewing public, must start to make a few maverick moves and press ‘Hit’ on the app for singers who aren’t as vocally talented (and know they aren’t; I’m not advocating any X Factor-style false hope here) so that we get extra laughs by more people disappearing through the doors, and the format can be used to its full potential!

Thankfully, to the more casual viewer, many of the holes in the show might not have been all that noticeable, thanks to the perfect selection of Alan Carr as host. He injects his trademark cheeky humour at every opportunity – which very few other hosts, even comedians, could have managed, I’m sure. His unwavering enthusiasm kept the fledgling show afloat – just – and he dealt with the all-too-frequent technological failures involving the app (to reiterate, very much the focus of the show) extremely well.

The Singer Takes It All may have received a mixed-reaction on social media as the TV snobs came out in force and condemned it for being too frivolous and ‘stupid’, just because it had the gumption to buck the talent show trend and not have a panel of judges, or promise of a recording contract for its winners, or wish to do anything other than entertain, but a lot of people seem to be having fun with the app – so perhaps the programme has legs. Or the app does, at least. People just need to approach The Singer Takes It All sensibly: if you’re looking for a serious singing competition, get yourself onto YouTube and watch clips of The Voice, but if a typical Friday night of rowdy fun and interaction is what you’re after, you’re in luck.

'The Singer Takes It All' host, Alan Carr

The Singer Takes It All is on Fridays at 9pm on Channel 4

What did you think of The Singer Takes It All? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

‘Our Gay Wedding: The Musical’ (Channel 4) Review

Saturday 29th March 2014 was an historic day. At midnight, same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales. It was the result of a long, hard battle, with many right-wingers and homophobes attempting to stand in the way of equality.

It was on that day, too, that Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor were finally married in a somewhat unconventional ceremony. Staying true to their jobs as a composer (Benjamin) and West End performer (Nathan), they turned their day into a musical.

Naturally, this courted controversy from the gay community. A lot felt that it simply reinforced stereotypes and implied that all gay men find musical ‘simply fabulous, dahling’. I must confess that I was firmly in this camp (pun very much intended). After seeing the newlyweds on ITV’s This Morning on the day of the TV broadcast, however, I changed my mind as they pointed out that they work in and love musicals and merely wanted their nuptials to reflect this. In their own words, ‘We’re not saying that all gay men love musicals – that’s ridiculous. We’re just saying that these two do.’

Having only been commissioned by Channel 4 in early February, Benjamin and Nathan had a mere seven weeks to write the lyrics and arrange the music for their ceremony but the time restraints didn’t show and was impeccably executed. It may have been peppered with celebrity appearances (including video messages from Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg – but strangely no David Cameron) but the whole thing really acted as a celebration of not only the couple’s time together and love for each other but also the gay community’s road to equality. Stephen Fry, who narrated the programme in the inimitable style of his, for which he is so treasured, fittingly emphasised the paramount importance of the 29th March in his opening monologue, describing the day as ‘extraordinary and historic’ and paving the way for a series of poignant reminders about the many highs and, unfortunately, many lows that LGBT people have faced through the years. During a brilliant performance of Erasure’s ‘A Little Respect’, the audience was taken through the imprisonment of gay men for so-called “homosexual acts” in 1954, the decriminalisation of homosexuality for over 21s in 1967, the AIDs epidemic, Section 28’s introduction and removal, the arrival of civil partnerships, and finally 2013; the year in which the same-sex marriage bill was passed and, against the will of some but to the jubilation of many, gays were permitted to marry.

One of the most beautiful moments of the ceremony for me, however, (yes, even more beautiful than the vows and subsequent kiss) was the song sung by Nathan and Benjamin’s mams, based on notes they gave them about how they felt when their sons came out. For a long time, I – needlessly, I’m sure – felt hugely guilty after I came out to my parents. I felt like I’d broken my mam’s heart in particular, turned her life upside-down. Nathan’s mam sang, ‘It took time to get to know the man who used to be my precious little boy’,’ and I know that that is how my own mam felt. I’d like to think, and am pretty certain, that, eighteen months after telling her that I’m gay, my mam has become used to it and realised that it doesn’t change anything. I can still have children. I can still express love and have it reciprocated. God, I can even get married now! Most importantly, though, I can still be happy. The only difference is, it’ll be with a man; not the woman she envisaged. I know that Noëlle and Celia’s song would have helped my mam if she had heard it when I came out, and I am certain that it will help many gay people and their parents realise that their worries, anger and guilt are not uncommon and will be overcome in time.

Our Gay Wedding: The Musical was camp as Christmas but at the heart of it was love; deep love between two men that was recognised in the eyes of the law and by millions of viewers. Finally! Benjamin and Nathan should be tremendously proud of their achievement and, like everyone else sane and capable of love around the world, I wish them every happiness.

Just as long as they don’t subject us to bloody Jon Snow singing the news again!

Image thanks to Channel 4 and Richard Ansett 

Our Gay Wedding: The Musical is still available on 4OD

What did you think of Our Gay Wedding: The Musical? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

This Week in TV – 15th – 21st March

Yes, I’m now trying This Week in TV on YouTube. You never, know, it might work. I’ve also posted trailers/previews for all of the programmes that I could get hold of. Enjoy!

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – Holly Willoughby is pranked on the set of Surprise Surprise

Harry’s South Pole Heroes – Trailer

The Widower – Trailer

W1A – Trailer

Davina: Beyond Breaking Point – This clip shows the third, and toughest, day of Davina’s challenge

Sport Relief – Take a look at the star-studded video for Little Mix’s ‘Word Up’ – this year’s official Sport Relief song

This Week in TV – 22nd – 28th February

Following on from a week that showed how great TV can be (Andrew Marr’s Jonathan Ross Show appearance, Sunday’s Call the Midwife and Emmerdale’s current HIV storyline) while also plumbing the depths of tedium (Splash!, Andrew Sachs’s interview on This Morning and Alex Turner’s BRITs acceptance speech), here’s what we have to look forward to over the next seven days.

Saturday 22nd February

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

ITV, 7:00pm

After a four year hiatus, Ant and Dec returned with their Saturday Night Takeaway last year and stayed true to form by attracting a plethora of stars to take part, with Mila Kunis, Simon Cowell, One Direction, Robbie Williams and Ricky Gervais all making an appearance.

One of last year’s guests, Michael Buble, makes a'Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway' - ITV, 7:00pm reappearance this week as he steps into the voiceover booth to be the Guest Announcer and also provides the always fabulous End of the Show-Show. Elsewhere, Ashley Roberts will oversee another ‘Ant vs Dec’ challenge, the duo fool Holly Willoughby on the set of Surprise Surprise, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford take part in ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Outta Me Ear’, Little Ant & Dec cause trouble at the BAFTAs.

Of course, there’ll be lots of other surprises for the audience – both at home and in the studio – and probably a mention of Ant’s ‘thumb situation’ too.

Also today: An I’m a Celebrity… themed edition of The Cube: Celebrity Special (ITV, 6:00pm); the last of the blind auditions in The Voice UK (BBC1, 7:00pm); the last in the current series of Take Me Out (ITV, 8:20pm); and Jack Whitehall and McBusted join Jonathan Ross for a natter (ITV, 9:50pm).

Sunday 23rd February

Deadly on a Mission: Pole to Pole

BBC1, 4:15pm

Intrepid presenter Steve Backshall sets off on another Deadly 60 mission in this programme, and as'Deadly on a Mission: Pole to Pole' - BBC1, 4:!5pm the title suggests he’s embarking on a trek across the world – from the North to the South Pole.

Along the way, Steve will risk encountering some of the world’s most dangerous animals. Beginning in the Arctic, the presenter has run-ins with polar bears, walruses and whales.

Just like his previous missions, this isn’t going to be an easy one for Steve, but I’m sure he’ll manage. Just.

Also today: Dancing on Ice crawls towards its finale (ITV, 6:15pm & 8:30pm); former I’m a Celeb contestants Sinitta and Dougie Poynter are on All Star Family Fortunes (ITV, 7:45pm); Time Team (Channel 4, 8:00pm) focuses on Castle Drogo in Devon; hit comedy film Bridesmaids premieres on Channel 4 at 9:00pm; and TOWIE returns (ITV2, 10:00pm).

Monday 24th February

Impractical Jokers

BBC3, 10:00pm

For some reason, this hidden-camera comedy series went'Impractical Jokers' - BBC3, 10:00pm somewhat unnoticed during its first  series in 2012. That’s a real shame, as I can quite honestly say that I found it to be one of the funniest shows on TV in the last few years.

The set-up is simple: four friends and comedians (Roisin Conaty, Marek Larwood, Joel Dommett and Paul McCaffrey) are put into various everyday, but very public, situations and must challenge each other, with the aid of an earpiece, to do or say incredibly embarrassing things. If they succeed, they win points, but if they abstain or fail, they win nothing. The person who has the least amount of points at the end of the show must then undergo a terribly embarrassing forfeit – previous examples of which include stripping off in a launderette, performing a lapdance in a nightclub, and giving a motivational speech to a room of unimpressed businesspeople, using a presentation prepared by the other Jokers. The latter forfeit is in the clip below, which does contain strong language but is also very, very funny – and very, very juvenile.

Contains strong language

Also today: Operation Hospital Food with James Martin (9:15am), Countryside 999 (11:00am) and Antiques Road Trip (4:30pm) all return to BBC1; new quiz series Revenge of the Egghead begins (BBC2, 6:00pm); The Gadget Show (Channel 5, 7:00pm), Silk (BBC1, 9:00pm) and One Born Every Minute (Channel 4, 9:00pm) are back; and Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! (Channel 5, 9:00pm) looks at the world of debt collection.

Tuesday 25th February

Strippers

Channel 4, 10:00pm'Strippers' - Channel 4, 10:00pm

This three-part series takes an in-depth look at Scotland’s strip club industry.

We begin by entering Diamond Dolls in Glasgow, which is run by Shelley and employs over 40 dancers. Here, viewers of the programme will gain an insight into how the performers juggle work with their home lives and what they really think about the industry they are part of. For example, Kim (pictured) explains why she sacrificed her gymnastics success for a life of lap dancing and Laefana opens up about how her job helps pay the debts from her nursing degree.

The punters of the clubs featured will also tells us why they like to go to such places as the series progresses and also visits Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Also today: Permission Impossible: Britain’s Planners (BBC2, 7:00pm); Kirstie Allsopp presents Kirstie’s Best of Both Worlds (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Max Hastings presents documentary The Necessary War (BBC2, 9:00pm); The Mentalist (Channel 5) and The Vampire Diaries (ITV2) return at 9:00pm after their mid-season breaks; Steve Jones presents new challenge series, Hair (BBC3, 9:00pm); and sitcom Pramface is back for a new series (BBC3, 10:00pm).

Wednesday 26th February

Party Wright Around the World

ITV2, 9:00pm

In this new series, former TOWIE star Mark Wright travels the globe to meet various groups of'Party Wright Around the World' - ITV2, 9:00pm friends in often very different locations. His challenge after he has got to know them is to throw them a party that they’ll never forget.

Yes, ITV really have spent money on this.

Mark begins his three month-long journey in Miami, but the series will also see him travel to such gorgeous locations as New York, Australia and…oh, Somerset.

I’m guessing the budget was pretty much non-existent by the time Somerset was decided upon…

Also today: Born to Kill? returns (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Festivals, Sex & Suspicious Parents begins (BBC3, 9:00pm); and comedy drama film Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor, premieres on Channel 4 at 12:05am.

Thursday 27th February

Bluestone 42

BBC3, 10:00pm

I wasn’t particularly impressed by this bomb disposal unit-set sitcom when it began last year, and'Bluestone 42' - BBC3, 10:00pm have to admit that I haven’t watched any episodes since the first. It must have proved popular with some, though, as it spawned a Christmas special and second series, which begins tonight.

Having made his debut in the Christmas episode, Matthew Lewis returns as the fresh-out-of-training Corporal Gordon House, nicknamed Towerblock, who is in possession of a new weapon: the Glock 17. This prompts Captain, Nick to try to prove himself by undergoing a weapons-handling test – but it doesn’t exactly go swimmingly.

Elsewhere, Simon attempts to improve his intellect by studying Art of War – and draws Bird into his obsession, landing her in trouble.

Also today: One-off documentaries Royal Funerals: The Inside Story (Channel 5, 7:00pm), Jumbo: The Plane That Changed the World (BBC2, 9:00pm) and The Storms That Stole Christmas (Channel 4, 9:00pm); and new factual series Junior Paramedics begins (BBC3, 9:00pm).

Friday 28th February

Jonathan Creek

BBC1, 9:00pm

Jonathan hasn’t done too badly with his sidekicks over the years, has he? Caroline Quentin, Julia'Jonathan Creek' - BBC1, 9:00pm Sawalha and Sheridan Smith all joined the sleuth from 1997 to 2013, and now Sarah Alexander is  helping out as Alan Davies dons the duffle coat for a series of three new cases.

In tonight’s opening episode, Jonathan, as always, must employ his magic knowledge as he investigates the mystery of an actress’ murder in her locked dressing room. The victim, Juno Pirelli’s wounds cannot be explained and no murder weapon can be found, yet, with her life hanging in the balance, someone must be accountable.

Jonathan has his own troubles, though: he and his wife Polly (Sarah Alexander) have recently suffered a sudden personal tragedy, and their marriage is about to be thrown into jeopardy as a series of disturbing family secrets are uncovered.

Also today: Mel C, Gyles Brandreth and Adam Hills are on Room 101 (BBC1, 8:30pm); John Humphrys returns to his native Cardiff in Coming Home (BBC2, 8:30pm); Niall Ferguson uses cutting-edge technology to offer his perspective on World War I in The Pity of War (BBC2, 9:00pm); and a stellar Graham Norton Show line-up on BBC1 at 10:35pm, with Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Naomi Campbell, The Kaiser Chiefs and Ant and Dec all taking to the sofa.

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: Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – Thanks to ITV; Deadly on a Mission: Pole to Pole – Thanks to BBC NHU, ©Johnny Rogers; Impractical Jokers – Thanks to BBC, ©Yalli Productions; Strippers – Thanks to Channel 4; Party Wright Around the World – ©ITV; Bluestone 42 – Thanks to BBC and Coco Van Oppens, ©BBC; Jonathan Creek – Thanks to BBC and John Rogers, ©BBC.

This Week in TV – 8th – 14th February

Following on from a week that saw appointment television like The Big Benefits Row, Age Gap Love and the heartbreaking Hunted, here’s what’s on over the next seven days.

Saturday 8th February

The Jonathan Ross Show

ITV, 9:55pm

You do kind of have to feel sorry for Wossy. He hasn’t exactly had the best guests this series, has he? In fact, he hasn’t had the best guests since his move to ITV.

I don’t want to start sounding too much like Ian Hyland but if we'The Jonathan Ross Show' - ITV, 9:55pm compare The Jonathan Ross Show  to The Graham Norton Show, the contrast in the quality of guests is obvious. For example, on the first show back after his Christmas and New Year break, Graham welcomed Sly Stallone, Robert De Niro, Jonah Hill and Carey Mulligan to his sofa. Impressive! Over on Jonathan’s show? Naomie Harris, Jennifer Saunders, Jamie Cullum and Paddy McGuinness made an appearance. Of course, there is an argument for British stars being more relevant to a British audience (plus Naomie Harris was in the much-anticipated Nelson Mandela biopic at the time) but, let’s face it: it hardly makes for inspiring reading, does it? Or viewing, for that matter.

So, is Wossy’s line-up any better this week? Well, yes to be fair. John Legend performs, Kiefer Sutherland discusses the new 24, Chris O’Dowd chats about his new film Cuban Fury (which looks very good), Emily Mortimer talks about her sitcom Doll & Em and Kevin Bridges explains why he’s not doing much at the moment – which does beg the question, why’s he on The Jonathan Ross Show?

Also today: The second semi-final of Splash! (ITV, 7:10pm); and Tony Robinson returns with Walking Through History (Channel 4, 8:00pm).

Sunday 9th February

Babylon

Channel 4, 9:00pm

Directed by Danny Boyle, this one-off comedy drama stars a wide range of acting talent.'Babylon' - Channel 4, 9:00pm

James Nesbitt, Jill Halfpenny, Jonny Sweet, Martin Trenaman and more appear in Babylon, in which  Liz Garvey (played by US actress Brit Marling) is introduced by Chief Constable Richard Miller (Nesbitt) to revamp the police. Her job is to improve PR with the force – dragging it into the twenty-first century; the age of rolling news, smart phones and social media.

However, we also see some of the other cops at work in London, as cameraman Matt Coward follows them around for his fly-on-the-wall series.

Tonight’s 90 minute programme acts at the pilot. A full series of six episodes will follow later this year.

Also today: An 80s-themed Dancing on Ice, celebrating 30 years since Torvill and Dean’s success at the Olympics (ITV, 6:15 & 8:30pm); and Sir Steve Redgrave and Natalie Anderson are on All Star Family Fortunes (ITV, 7:45pm).

Monday 10th February

Jim Davidson: At Least I’m Not Boring 

Channel 5, 9:00pm

After what he has many times called the worst year of his life (having been arrested as part of Operation Yewtree), Jim Davidson was voted the winner of Celebrity Big Brother last month.'Jim Davidson: At Least I'm Not Boring' - Channel 5, 9:00pm

Now I wasn’t particularly bothered that he won. I shocked myself by forgiving his vile stand-up routines and “gags” and instead being happy for him winning. But then I remembered why he was kicked off of Hell’s Kitchen. I remembered that he last year compared the Paralympics to “f*cking Robot Wars”, likened a black competitor to “a Peparami” and, on the topic of the twenty three-times gold medal-winning Ellie Simmonds, stated, “I f*cking hate midgets…they’re horrible”. Of course, comedians’ jokes – however unfunny – do not necessarily represent their true views, but surely no one can deny that some of Jim Davidson’s routines are plainly unacceptable.

Anyway, controversies aside, this documentary charts the rise, fall and rise again of Jim Davidson – from his early days on New Faces to Big Break and The Generation Game, his arrest last year and then finally his CBB success.

Also today: Crime drama series WPC 56 is back (BBC1, 2:15pm); Danny Baker’s Rockin’ Decades (BBC4, 9:00pm); off the back the success of Benefits Street and The Big Benefits Row, Richard Bacon hosts Benefits Britain: The Debate (Channel 4, 10:00pm); spoof documentary The Life of Rock with Brian Pern (BBC4, 10:00pm); and the first of a three part series, Danny Baker Rocks the Seventies (A Bit) (BBC4, 10:30pm).

Tuesday 11th February

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Chris’s Final Answer

ITV, 8:00pm

As you may or may not be aware, last week’s Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was in fact  the last-ever. After'Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Chris's Final Answer' - ITV, 8:00pm fifteen years there are no more audiences to be asked, no more friends to be phoned and no more fifties to be fiftied.

Yes, I am aware that that doesn’t make sense. Just go with it though, please.

In this programme, the show’s host, Chris Tarrant, reflects on the past one and a half decades – from the six top prize winners (five of whom were clever enough not to cheat) to some of the most unfortunate losers.

Also today: Police 5 (Channel 5, 7:30pm) offers up crime prevention advice; 200 Nips and Tucks and I Want More! (Channel 5, 9:00pm); new dating show Sexy Beasts (BBC3, 10:00pm); and some magic in Troy (E4, 10:00pm).

Wednesday 12th February

Suspects

Channel 5, 10:00pm

The press pack for Suspects claims that it is ‘an innovative new British crime drama’.

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of ‘innovative’ is, ‘something new or different’. That might'Suspects' - Channel 5, 10:00pm be worth keeping in mind as I tell you that Suspects is an improvised series filmed in a documentary  style. We follow a team of detectives in each stand-alone episode as they investigate a different case. That sounds remarkably similar to ITV’s 2012 improvised series, Crime Stories, which was also filmed in a documentary style, with each stand-alone episode following detectives as they investigate a different case.

I’m not suggesting that Suspects isn’t going to be good. I’m merely pointing out that it is not ‘innovative’ – well, not in the popular sense of the word, at least.

Also today: Line of Duty returns (BBC2, 9:00pm); Dominic Cooper stars in drama series Fleming, about the creator of the James Bond books (Sky Atlantic, 9:00pm); and documentary series First Dates is back (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Thursday 13th February

Benidorm 

ITV, 9:00pm'Benidorm' - ITV, 9:00pm

For some reason, this series of Benidorm has attracted some criticism. Many have stated that it  has been the weakest run to date but I completely disagree – I don’t think I’ve found the show this funny since the second series! It’s rude, crude and borders on the ridiculous but also simply brilliant!

Plus it stars Danny Walters. *Swoon*

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. This week’s episode is the last in the series and sees a clash for the Garveys and the Dykes, Joyce put under pressure and some very big guests turn up in the form of Rustie Lee, the Krankies and Joan Collins!

Rustie’s the main feature though, obviously.

Also today: The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure (BBC2, 8:00pm); The Kidnapping of Shergar (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Bible Hunters (BBC2, 9:00pm); and the best bits of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (BBC2, 10:00pm). His coverage of Hayley’s death on Corrie was a particular highlight for me.

Friday 14th February

Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages 

ITV, 8:00pm

Beginning tonight, this eight-part series follows the work of trainee nurses in Manchester and  Birmingham.

Over the course of the series, we get to know the students as they try their best to cope with the struggles on the wards, in training and at home. Hopefully it will also show the NHS in a good light, given its recent bad rap in the papers.

May I also just say happy Valentine’s Day to all of the singletons out there? I shall be spending 14th February in London, surrounded by many of my friends who are in relationships. Let’s all share the pain of singletude, eh?

Also today: Vernon Kay, Miles Jupp and Kelly Hoppen are on Room 101 (BBC1, 8:30pm); Ian Botham is the subject of the last Life Stories of the series (ITV, 9:00pm); Peter Kay: Live & Back on Nights concludes (Channel 4, 9:00pm); more Alan Davies: Après Ski (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and Paloma Faith round-off the current series of 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 –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: The Jonathan Ross Show – Thanks to Nicky Johnston, ©ITV; Babylon – Thanks to Channel 4 and Dean Rogers; Jim Davidson: At Least I’m Not Boring – Thanks to Five; Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Chris’s Final Answer – Thanks to ITV, ©Sony Pictures Television; Suspects – Thanks to Five; Benidorm – Thanks to ITV, ©Tiger Aspect.

This Week in TV – 25th – 31st January

Following on from a week that saw the National Television Awards bring victory for Ant & Dec, Corrie and Doctor Who – but also possibly a diminishment in I Can’t Sing!’s ticket sales – here’s what we have to look forward to over the next seven days.

Saturday 25th January

Celebrity Big Brother

Channel 5, 9:30pm'Celebrity Big Brother' - Channel 5, 9:30pm

The final is looming, and tonight we will see the repercussions of Linda’s eviction. 

She may have felt the wrath and been bombarded by the boos of the public but I was quite surprised that Linda Nolan (pictured) was evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house last night. Yes, she was interfering, a nit-picker, bitchy and perhaps should have let sleeping dogs lie sometimes but I suppose I did sort of like her. But then maybe that’s just because she’s a Nolan. And I can’t bring myself to hate a Nolan.

Anyway, so, who do I think will win? Well if I had to predict the top three (I don’t, but I will anyway), I’d have to go for:

FIRST – Ollie

SECOND – Sam

THIRD – Jim

I would never have placed Jim even in the final at the beginning of the series but I do believe that, despite his questionable opinions and past routines, he’s come across well during this series. Well, sometimes he has anyway. It’s often the case that the quiet ones shine in the end, though, so that’s why I’ve placed Ollie and Sam in the top two. Whether that will be the case on the night, however, remains to be seen.

Also today: Jenny Eclair, Austin Healy and Una Foden are just some of the stars appearing in Splash! (ITV, 6:45pm); and Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Tinie Tempah, Seann Walsh and Sam Bailey pull up a pew for The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:30pm).

Sunday 26th January

The Jump

Channel 4, 8:00pm

Bearing in mind the money that has been invested in it, it’s little surprise that Channel 4 is really plugging new reality series, The Jump. And so they should too because, actually, it looks really  rather good.

Davina McCall and The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker are at'The Jump' - Channel 4, 8:00pm the helm of this show, which sees celebrities trained in Winter Olympic disciplines – from Skeleton to Bobsleigh, speed skating to slalom and, of course, the dreaded ski jump. However, the competitors will only have to face the eponymous jump if they find themselves in the bottom two as a result of their performance in that day’s challenge. So that’s quite an incentive to do well!

Taking part over the next eight nights will be: Richie Neville, Nicky Clarke, Marcus Brigstocke, Melinda Messenger, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sinitta, Laura Hamilton, Amy Childs, Anthea Turner, Darren Gough, Kimberley Wyatt, and Henry Conway. They will be trained by Olympians, Graham Bell, Amy Williams and the legend that is Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. Should be fun!

Also today: 2012 film Mirror Mirror (Channel 4, 6:00pm); the remaining nine battle it out in Dancing on Ice (ITV, 6:15pm); Brian McFadden, Diane Parish and their families are on All Star Family Fortunes (ITV, 7:45pm); Dragon’s Den returns (BBC2, 9:00pm); and there’s one last Celebrity Big Brother Eviction ahead of Wednesday’s final (Channel 5, 9:00pm).

Monday 27th January

Britain’s Great War 

BBC1, 9:00pm

Beginning the BBC’s ambitious four year project to mark the centenary of World War One, Britain’s'Britain's Great War' - BBC1, 9:00pm Great War sees Jeremy Paxman (clean-shaven at the time of filming) explore how the War helped shape modern Britain.

This first episode begins by looking at the early stages of the War, from the incredulity of the nation to the mass recruitment of soldiers. Jeremy tells of the fear that gripped the nation, as spies were suspected to be everywhere and people lived in constant terror of their homes being attacked – which of course began to happen before long.

Jeremy also meets a 105-year-old eyewitness to the bombing of Hartlepool as she reveals what she thought and felt at that moment.

Also today: Daytime series Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (BBC1, 4:30pm) and Coach Trip (Channel 4, 5:30pm) return; Police Interceptors (Channel 5, 8:00pm) and Food & Drink (BBC2, 8:30pm) are back; The Many Faces of Dick Emery is on BBC2 at 9:00pm; US sitcom Dads comes to ITV2 (9:30pm); and documentary series Three Wives, One Husband: Married to the Mormons begins on Channel 4 (10:00pm).

Tuesday 28th January

Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

ITV, 8:00pm

Who remembers last year when Chris Tarrant announced that Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was'Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' - ITV, 8:00pm ending? Apparently he and ITV had mutually agreed to finish the show, yet here it still is with the  first of two one-off specials – the second of which will air next Tuesday.

The first celebrity pairs to take to the hotseats are Russell Kane and Gloria Hunniford, Frank Skinner and Adrian Chiles, and Alexandra Burke and David Emanuel (who, incidentally, is opening the newly-refurbished Bonmarché store in Sunderland next Thursday. Just thought I’d mention it).

The charities being represented are: mental health organisation, Rethink; The Caron Keating Foundation; aid agency, CAFOD; Breast Cancer Care; and Macmillan Cancer Care Support.

Also today: Children’s Emergency Rescue (BBC2, 8:00pm); Inside the Animal Mind (BBC2, 9:00pm); and The Zoo Next Door (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Wednesday 29th January

Outnumbered

BBC1, 9:00pm

Personally, I thought that Outnumbered stopped being funny after the second run but it has proved'Outnumbered' - BBC1, 9:00pm popular enough to still be here for its fifth, and final, series.

As we rejoin the Brockmans, Sue is struggling to juggle her new office job with her home life, Jake is taking driving lessons, (the now very tall) Ben has been cast in the school musical, and Karen has joined secondary school, and clashes with just about everyone – teachers and fellow pupils alike.

It really is interesting to see how, with each series, Daniel Roche (Ben) and Romona Marquez (Karen) have grown up. And how much more handsome Tyger Drew-Honey has become.

Anyway, as it’s the final series, I might tune in. After all, it’s a few years since I last saw the Brockmans and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Also today: The Restaurant Man (BBC2, 8:00pm); and the Celebrity Big Brother Final (Channel 5, 9:00pm).

Thursday 30th January

BodyShockers: My Tattoo Hell 

Channel 4, 10:00pm

In this series, Katie Piper (pictured) meets people who have undergone or are planning to undergo major body  alterations, finding out their motives for and feelings about their'Bodyshockers' - Channel 4, 10:00pm decisions.

The first episode sees the model talk to a variety of people who have had tattoos, but now regret them. Take Grant, who has a tattoo on his eyelid and is about to undergo a painful and high-risk procedure to get it removed using a laser. Then there’s Merlisa, who wants a huge tattoo on her chest removed, and Dominic, who got his boyfriend’s name tattooed on his neck, only for them to break up three days later.

But Katie also meets some people who don’t regret getting tattoos. Matthew is inked from head to toe, with his penis even tattooed bright blue, as a sign of support for Birmingham City. Now that’s dedication!

Also today: One-off documentary Dan Snow’s History of the Winter Olympics (BBC2, 9:00pm); Matthew Kelly (who isn’t the Matthew from BodyShockers, I hasten to add) and Janet Street-Porter guest-star in Benidorm (ITV, 9:00pm); The Truth About Your Dog’s Food (Channel 5, 9:00pm), which needs little explanation; Suits returns (Dave, 9:00pm); and documentary Kids Who Kill (Channel 5, 10:00pm) – yet another programme with a very blunt, self-explanatory title.

Friday 31st January

The Last Leg

Channel 4, 10:00pm

Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker return with their review of the past seven days’ events.

This show has done exceptionally well, it should be noted. Bearing in mind it started out merely as a light-hearted, nightly review of the 2012 Paralympics, it is now a very popular topical series, which has helped boost the profiles of its three presenters, so much so that Adam Hills won Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the British Comedy Awards last year and is now the host of Celebrity Fifteen to One, four new episodes of which will air later this year. Josh also released his debut stand-up DVD last year while Alex has fronted his own documentary on body image and is, of course, co-host of The Jump.

As always, the trio will be joined by a different celebrity guest each week and viewers can get involved with their #IsItOk questions. For example, #IsItOk that Justin Bieber is acting like a total dick?

A nice little Last Leg reference for fans of the show there.

Also today: Ice Road Truckers returns (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Michael Ball, Caroline Quentin and Henning Wehn attempt to have their pet hates banished to Room 101 (BBC1, 8:30pm); Martin Kemp is on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (ITV, 9:00pm); Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild begins (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and Julianne Moore, Matthew McConaughey, Sheryl Crow and Alan Davies are 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 –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Celebrity Big Brother – Thanks to Five; The Jump – Thanks to Channel 4 and Todd Antony; Britain at War – Thanks to Dave Williams, ©BBC; Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire? – Thanks to ITV and Victory Television; Outnumbered – Thanks to BBC and Collin Hutton, ©Hat Trick; BodyShockers – Thanks to Channel 4 and Ray Burmiston.