Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – which has taken me longer to produce than usual because I’ve admittedly also had one eye on the men’s Semis at Wimbledon…
Yes, welcome to Carry On Reviewing!
Saturday 6th July
Your Face Sounds Familiar
It’s low-brow, loud and everything about it says ‘car crash’. Let’s face it, though: Your Face Sounds Familiar is entertaining.
In my review of last week’s opening episode, I told of how I really want to dislike this show, but can’t help enjoying it. The celebrities, audience and presenters are having fun (even if Julian Clary clearly is not) and aren’t taking the competition too seriously (even if last week’s guest judge Donny Osmond clearly was).
As we found out last week, the Randomiser (or ‘Ramdoniser’, as Paddy accidentally called it) decided that last week’s winner, Cheryl Fergison will perform as Anastacia, Alexander Armstrong will be Johnny Rotten and Bobby Davro will be showing that he has the moves like Jagger as he takes to the stage as the Stones frontman. Meanwhile, Emmerdale’s Natalie Anderson will be Britney Spears, Denise Lewis will be doing her best to impersonate Lenny Kravitz and – best of all – This Morning’s Matt Johnson is to be Taylor Swift. And how lovely he looks as her, too.
If you didn’t watch last week and have been put off doing so by the terrible reviews (The Guardian questioned whether it was ‘the worst Saturday night show ever’), I would urge you to just give it a go. I’m not saying that you’ll definitely love it, and nor am I saying that it’s up there with the best examples of TV talent shows. There are a lorra lorra laughs to be have, though.
That was a reference to Cilla Black being this week’s guest judge, by the way.
Also today: Dance film Step Up (ITV, 4:05pm); David Haye and Georgia May Foote (Corrie’s Katy) are joined by their families for another All Star Family Fortunes (ITV, 8:45pm); a repeat of The Late Great Eric Sykes (BBC2, 9:45pm); comedy film Scott Pilgrim vs the World (Channel 4, 10:00pm); The Thick of It spin-off In the Loop (BBC2, 10:45pm); and thriller Wanted (ITV, 10:50pm).
Sunday 7th July
Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army
In this one-off documentary, comedian and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones travels to the jungles of Burma to discover more about his father’s time at war, and to meet some of the veterans who formed what is now regarded as the Forgotten Army.
Griff’s father, Elwyn, seldom spoke about his time at war, despite having travelled 15,000 miles from Wales to Ghana, where he acted as a medical officer to a West African division.
Accompanied by Joshua, a ninety-year-old veteran, Griff uncovers the story of how the forgotten war transformed the West Africans forever.
I initially wasn’t too fussed about this documentary – I’ve never been a huge history fan. However, after seeing a clip of Griff meeting some veterans who recognise and share their stories of his father, I am convinced that it really is one to watch. If I was moved by a clip of eighty seconds, I know I will love the whole programme.
Also today: COME ON ANDY! Coverage of Wimbledon begins on BBC1 at 12:50pm; spoof thriller Johnny English (ITV, 5:05pm); family favourites Alvin and the Chipmunks (Channel 4, 5:45pm) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Channel 5, 6:00pm); find out in which unlikely way Sandi Toksvig acquired a scar on her hand in Jo Brand’s Great Wall of Comedy (GOLD, 7:30pm); Simon Gregson, John Thomson and Ricky Tomlinson face the machine in Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (ITV, 7:00pm); Sally Lindsay, Gary Rhodes and Ruth Madoc have their knowledge of their partners tested in All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm); and hit film Mamma Mia! (ITV, 9:00pm).
Monday 8th July
Freeview Channel 20
This brand new channel, exclusive to Freeview, is the newest addition to the UKTV network.
Beginning from 8:00am this morning, Drama will broadcast favourites such as The Bill, Monarch of the Glen and Born and Bred – plus so much more. It’s not just drama, however: at 9:30am (and 7:40pm tonight) you can see the first-ever episodes of the soon to be revived Birds of a Feather. A chance to remind ourselves what Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson (or Laura Robson, as The Guardian’s Vanessa Thorpe mistakenly called her last week) looked like over two decades ago. Last of the Summer Wine will also appear.
Every night at 9:00pm this week, Drama will be showing one of its top imports, beginning with Inspector George Gently tonight and then continuing all week with Taggart, Call the Midwife, New Tricks and Jonathan Creek.
Viewers can also look forward to Pride & Prejudice, The Crimson Petal and the White, Cranford, Silk and comedy-drama Eric & Ernie in the coming weeks.
Also today: Documentary A Very British Ramadan (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Rachel de Thame and Joe Swift present Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (BBC2, 8:00pm); new comedy series Count Arthur Strong (BBC2, 8:30pm); we discover more about Luisa, Leah, Francesca, Neil and Jordan in The Apprentice: The Final Five (BBC1, 9:00pm); we take a trip back to 2007 for another What a Load of Buzzcocks (BBC2, 10:00pm); sadly the last in the series of the simply brilliant The Greatest Shows on Earth (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Getting On stars Jo Scanlan and Ricky Grover are in this week’s Coming Up (Channel 4, 11:05pm).
Tuesday 9th July
The Murder Trial
Channel 4, 9:00pm
Three years to set-up, just six weeks to film. This feature-length, landmark documentary shows the murder trial of Scottish businessman Nat Fraser, who is accused of killing his wife. However, there is no weapon, no crime scene – but there is a watertight alibi from Fraser himself.
Using remotely-operated cameras, this two hour-long documentary will show exactly what goes on during a murder trial. This is particularly fascinating as the family of Fraser’s wife, Arlene, have been waiting fourteen years to have her killer brought to justice. Also, this is not the first time that Fraser has been tried for the murder of his wife: he was found guilty in 2003 but challenged the verdict, claiming that the trial had been a miscarriage of justice. In 2011, he succeeded and the verdict was quashed. In April 2012, however, he was tried tried once again.
The Murder Trial will tell whether the new jury find him guilty or not.
Also today: Raymond Blanc: How to Cook Well (BBC2, 8:00pm); new documentary series The Cruise: A Life at Sea follows life aboard the ship Balmoral – which I assume is a Jane McDonald-free zone… (BBC2, 8:30pm); Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night uses eyewitness reports and reconstructions to recount the events of 6th July 1988, when 167 men died on a North Sea oil platform (BBC2, 9:00pm); Robson Green: How the North Was Built (ITV, 9:00pm); Clarke Carlisle looks into depression in sportsmen in Football’s Suicide Secret (BBC3, 9:00pm); Rod Stewart is the focus of this week’s Imagine (BBC1, 10:35pm), followed by his appearance on a 1976 episode of The Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC1, midnight); and Dennis Waterman discusses his tumultuous relationship with Rula Lenska in a repeat of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (ITV, 10:35pm).
Wednesday 10th July
Some Vicars With Jokes
Do I really need to explain this programme?
From All Gas and Gaiters in the sixties to Rev in the noughties, with a few stops in Dibley and on Craggy Island along the way, Christianity – and religion in general – has always been a big part of comedy. This series solidifies that and shows that clergymen and women do have a sense of humour. Who knew?
Now, I’ve seen a clip of Some Vicars With Jokes and it is more likely to elicit groans than belly laughs, but some of the gags are quite good. Look out particularly for Rev. Geoff Davis’s joke about the price of lager.
Also today: Restoration Home (BBC2, 8:00pm) and The Zoo (ITV, 8:00pm) are back; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, as well as having a typically blunt Channel 5 title, follows Australian Joe Cross as he seeks a healthy diet in America (8:00pm); Lindsay Lohan stars in chick-flick Just My Luck (E4, 8:00pm); it’s the much-anticipated Interviews episode of The Apprentice – and three will be sent packing (BBC1, 9:00pm); and Love and Marriage comes to and end (ITV, 9:00pm).
Thursday 11th July
Brady and Hindley: Possession
Paul McGann narrates this aptly-timed documentary, coinciding as it does with not only Brady’s recent hearing but also the fiftieth anniversary of their heinous crimes.
It is certainly a brave move for ITV and Wild Pictures (the production company behind the documentary) to create this programme. Over the sixty minutes, we will see images which Brady and Hindley took themselves, and also hear the latter speaking in her cell about the killing which resulted in their capture.
The documentary aims to raise new questions about the pair’s crimes, and also discover where the bodies are buried. It is believed that pictures exist which hold clues to where their victims have been buried, as they depict Brady and Hindley each standing by the graves.
We will also hear from people who knew Brady and Hindley, including one man who managed to escape the pair as a child, neighbour Carol Waterhouse and also journalists and detectives who recall working on the case at the time.
2006 drama See No Evil: The Moors Murders, starring Maxine Peake and Sean Harris, is repeated at 10:00pm on ITV3 tonight, and concludes tomorrow at the same time.
Let’s return to some ‘lighter’ stuff, shall we? Also today: James Martin, Richard Corrigan and Angela Hartnett meet a family who have just £1.66 per day to feed themselves in Great British Budget Menu (BBC1 8:00pm); documentary Married to the Job begins, following Hertfordshire’s female police detectives (ITV, 8:30pm); The Apprentice’s Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford investigate unemployment in Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits (BBC1, 9:00pm); BBC Scotland’s Hebrides: Islands on the Edge is on BBC2 at 9:00pm; and, ahead of next week’s final, Lord Sugar takes a look back at this series of The Apprentice in Why I Fired Them (BBC1, 10:35pm).
Friday 12th July
World’s Busiest Train Station
Channel 5, 8:00pm
You have no idea how tempting it was to write about The Proms or a repeat of John Bishop’s 2011 tour.
Yes, my highlight for today is this: a new four-part documentary which goes behind the scenes of – you guessed it! – some of the world’s busiest train stations.
The series begins by looking at Shinjuku railway terminus in Tokyo, which sees three million people pass through every day.
Also today, I’ve already mentioned them really: BBC Proms (BBC2, 8:00pm) and John Bishop: The Sunshine Tour (BBC1, 10:35pm) which, depending on how the BBC have edited the show, may or may not include a joke about Sunderland – which he told quite differently when I saw him in Newcastle on the same tour…
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.