Category Archives: ‘The Apprentice’

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.


This Week in TV – 13th July – 19th July

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – from Her Majesty The Queen to His Majesty (or so he likes to think) The Sugar.

Saturday 13th July

The Queen’s Coronation Festival Gala

BBC, 7:00pm

Gareth Malone and Sophie Raworth present highlights of this grand event from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, all to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

A host of stars will take to the stage, representing talent from across the UK and the Commonwealth, taking attendees and viewers on a whistle-stop tour through the past six decades of entertainment. Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, The Feeling, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Britain’s Got Talent finalists, Only Boys Aloud are just some of the acts who will be providing the music. The English National Ballet will also perform a routine.

Also today: Peter Andre is this week’s guest judge on Your Face Sounds Familiar (ITV, 7:30pm); Natural World Special follows a team of scientists as they aim to be the first to find and film a giant squid (BBC2, 7:40pm); Hollyoaks’ Danny Mac and Steps star Claire Richards go head-to-head in All Star Family Fortunes (ITV, 8:45pm); New Zealand-set thriller Top of the Lake begins (BBC2, 9:10pm); and, ahead of the release of their new film, The World’s End, Pegg and Frost’s second film, Hot Fuzz is on ITV at 10:50pm.

Sunday 14th July

Law & Order: UK

ITV, 9:00pm

Bradley Walsh and co. return with the seventh series of the British version of American smash Law & Order.

The series opens with a two-part story about a suicidal man who has driven his car onto a railway track, killing fifteen train passengers in the process – but not himself. Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne is straight on the case and is determined to catch the culprit, whose defence barrister, Kate Barker (played by new cast member Georgia Taylor) is out to prove his vulnerability and innocence. Then, just as the case finishes, and Jake thinks that it’s all over, CPS Director Henry Sharpe has a surprise for him…

As well as Georgia Taylor, Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Green Wing) also joins the cast this series as DI Wes Leyton – an old friend of DS Brooks (Bradley Walsh). Guests stars who we can look forward to seeing in this series include Just Good Friends star Jan Francis, Holby City’s Amanda Mealing and EastEnders actress Glynis Barber.

Also today: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on Channel 5 – again (12:55pm); 2009 musical remake Fame (Channel 4, 2:00pm); family favourite Marley & Me (Channel 4, 5:05pm); one-off documentary A Race Against Time: Hilary Lister’s Round Britain Dream tells of the quadriplegic sailor’s solo voyage around Britain (BBC2, 6:30pm); a camper show – apart from Fame – is difficult to find on the box today as Rosemary Shrager, Jane McDonald and Louie Spence all take part in Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (not easy for Louie to say!) on ITV at 7:00pm; documentary series Wild Cameramen at Work (BBC2, 7:30pm); The Saturdays star Una Healy, rugby union player Ben Foden and Most Haunted’s Yvette Fielding are on All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm); and Hunt vs Lauda: F1’s Greatest Racing Rivals (BBC2, 9:00pm), featuring archive footage and interviews to tell the story of the battle between the UK’s James Hunt and Austria’s Niki Lauda in 1976.

Monday 15th July


Channel 4, 10:00pm

Over four nights this week, Run (written by newcomers Marlon Smith and Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan) will tell the story of four seemingly unconnected people, as they are faced with life-defining decisions.

We begin the series with Carol. Played by Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), she is a hardened single  mother who is trying to keep her family together. However, that aim is to become even tougher when her 'Run' - Channel 4, 10:00pmson commits and act of random violence against a stranger – which results in their death. Carol is now faced with the hard decision of whether to protect her son or turn him in.

Showing from tonight until Thursday, Run will see Smith and Fajemisin-Duncan cleverly weave together their four gripping stories, which will also star Jaime Winston, Neil Maskell (last seen in Dates) and Benedict Wong, plus a raft of new acting talent.

Also today: Eamonn and Ruth kick off This Morning Summer (ITV, 10:30am) with a man who believes he is Jesus; as The One Show takes a week off, Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin present one-off documentary Eat Well for Less (BBC1, 7:00pm); Jeremy Paxman returns with more University Challenge (BBC2, 8:00pm); new sitcom Count Arthur Strong continues (BBC2, 8:30pm); Jessie Pavelka helps ten people to shed the pounds in Fat: The Fight of My Life (Sky1, 9:00pm); Harley Street follows the staff and clients at a London cosmetic clinic (Sky1, 10:00pm); and My £9.50 Holiday explores the growing trend for cheap getaways (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Tuesday 16th July

Family Tree

BBC2, 10:00pm

This new semi-improvised comedy stars Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd) as Tom Chadwick, who has recently lost both his job and his girlfriend. Left with little sense of who he is, Tom is bequeathed a mysterious box by a great aunt, whom he never met. When he begins  searching in the box, his curiosity about his heritage grows, leading him to trace his family tree – a quest which takes him from England to California.

Just like Episodes, a third series of which is currently in 'Family Tree' - BBC2, 10:00pmproduction, Family Tree is an Anglo-American comedy (having previously been shown on US network, HBO), although this series is also filmed in the style of a documentary.

As well as Chris O’Dowd, the series also stars ventriloquist Nina Conti (she’s even brought Monk along!) as Tom’s sister, Bea – although Nina says, ‘Monk can’t pronounce the letter B so he hardly ever says my name’. PhoneShop star Tom Bennett also features as Pete, Tom’s best mate who tries to get his love life back on track. However, judging by the person whom Pete picks for Tom in the first episode, he isn’t terribly good at match-making. You’ll have to wait and see what I mean.

Also today: Gok Live: Stripping for Summer (Channel 4, 8:00pm) and Robson Green: How the North Was Built (ITV, 9:00pm) conclude; Princess Diana’s Dresses: The Auction investigates the tales behind the Princess of Wales’s dresses (Channel 4, 9:00pm); comedian Seann Walsh’s new series about the weird and wonderful world of the internet begins (Comedy Central, 10:00pm); and there’s another chance to see Donny Osmond’s grilling on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (ITV, 10:35pm).

Wednesday 17th July

The Apprentice: The Final

BBC1, 9:00pm

After 11 weeks, 14 firings and one historic abdication, the Final of this year’s Apprentice has finally arrived – but will it be Luisa or Leah who is named Lord Sugar’s business partner?

The final task that the two candidates face is simply to, with the help of fired candidates, bring their business plans to fruition andLeah Totton create brands and launch campaigns, to be unveiled at a huge event, attended by business giants, and Lord Sugar himself.

So, will Luisa’s cupcake venture crumble or will Leah’s cosmetic surgery plan be left in need of an enhancement?

I really hope that Leah wins the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar. I think she has been a great candidate throughout the series, never taking over or putting others down. She may not have a business background but she is a doctor, so therefore knows an awful lot about the market which she proposes Lord Sugar invests in. Luisa, on the other hand, is far tooLuisa Zissman forward in my opinion. I  believe her to be bossy and full of self-importance – just look at the way she bullied poor Jason into stepping down as Project Manager in the Dating task and pushed Francesca into being the chef on that of the ready meals. She slyly shied away from entering the kitchen herself – despite having run a bakery business for several years, and Francesca having very little experience with cooking. No, I absolutely want Leah to be this series’ victor, and I believe she has the ability to do so. Let’s just hope Lord Sugar is brave enough to take a punt on a business idea which he would be new to.

For the second half of this two-hour episode, Dara O’Briain welcomes back all of this series’ hopefuls and gets the first chat with Lord Sugar and the winning candidate in The Apprentice: Your Hired!.

Also today: SuperScrimpers: Summer Savings (Channel 4, 8:00pm); the first episode of new three-part documentary Myra Hindley: The Untold Story (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Philippa Gregory presents The Real White Queen and Her Rivals (BBC2, 9:00pm), tying in with the BBC1 adaptation of her book, The White Queen; Ray Mears’ Close Encounters (ITV, 9:00pm) sees the presenter study Australian animals; Diaries of a Broken Mind (BBC3, 9:00pm), as part of the channel’s It’s a Mad World season, follows 25 young people living with mental health issues; and Wheelers, Dealers and Del Boys (BBC1, 10:35pm) shows the daily life in a south London auction house.

Thursday 18th July

Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods

BBC1, 8:00pm

Day after day we are told that the foods we love are bad for us.

Well not any more. Cherry Healey is here with Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods – a series 'Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods' - BBC1, 8:00pm which shines a light on the good things about the stuff we eat. So, whether its how milk can benefit the muscles or how tea – brewed in a particular way – can advantage your health, Cherry will tell us the truth about food, and for once we might actually want to hear it.

However, one thing we may not want to hear is whether or not it is possible to become addicted to chocolate – which is revealed in the programme. A lot of people’s excuse for their all-too-regular Dairy Milk binges may soon be unravelled.

Also today: The conclusion of Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits (BBC1, 9:00pm); documentary series The Briefs (ITV, 9:00pm) and The Hotel Inspector (Channel 5, 9:00pm) return; and one-off documentary Meet the Landlords is on BBC1 at 10:35pm.

Friday 19th July


BBC1, 11:05pm

The Friday drought on new shows continues. However, the second series of sitcom Pramface is being premiered on BBC1, having previously been shown on BBC3.

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of Pramface, it follows teens Laura and Jamie as their one night stand results in them becoming parents. While the baby means that academic Laura has to put her career plans on hold, Jamie just has to carry on trying to avoid maturity with his best mate, Mike. The couples also come from different families: Laura’s is middle and Jamie’s is working class, causing further disagreements among the grandparents.

This hour-long opener to the second series sees the reluctant couple prepare for their baby’s christening – but without even a name for her, they aren’t exactly ready for the event.

Also today: Roman epic Gladiator (ITV, 10:35pm); and highlights of last weekend’s T in the Park (BBC2, 11:05pm).

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.

TV Highlights (22nd – 28th June)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – from tennis to testicles!

Saturday 22nd June

The Voice UK: The Final

BBC1, 7:15pm

I’m going to own up: I only watched the first two episodes of this series of The Voice UK. I just got a bit sick of it. However, this year’s Final is a big TV event so, tempted as I was to write about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, I feel duty-bound to blag my way through the next few paragraphs and inform you of this show. So here we go…

I have watched the four Finalists’ Semi-Final performances on YouTube and I have to say that I 'The Voice UK' Finalist, Mike Ward enjoyed all of them – they each have quite individual voices. My favourite, though, is Mike Ward (pictured). If his Semi-Final performance is representative of those of his throughout the series, he deserves to be the winner! His voice is so distinctive and strong – and actually not dissimilar to Tom Jones’s, so I can see why he picked him to be his coach.

That’s not to say that the other contestants wouldn’t be worthy winners, too. I think they’re all very good but I personally hope that Sir Tom retains his The Voice UK crown. And I’m sure Mike will have more success in music than last year’s winner, Leanne Mitchell did.

Of course, it’s not just the contestants who will be performing tonight: Dizzee Rascal and Robbie Williams will be singing their single, ‘Goin’ Crazy’ and Michael Buble will be taking to the stage, too.

Well I hope I’ve appeared at least slightly knowledgeable about The Voice – else all that has been a waste of time and research.

Also today: Episodes’ Stephen Mangan and The X Factor’s Caroline Flack and Joe McElderry will be trying to win some money for charity, with the help of their relatives, in Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Family Special (ITV, 7:15pm); The Many Faces of Dame Helen Mirren (BBC2, 8:00pm) charts the actress’ rise to fame – hopefully including her stage debut in my hometown of Sunderland; Rufus Hound narrates The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moment (ITV, 8:15pm); funny and moving film Calendar Girls, starring the aforementioned Dame Helen, is on BBC2 at 9:00pm; and The Big Dirty List Show: 50 Years of Sex and Music (Channel 4, 10:15pm) looks at 20 of the sexiest songs of the past five decades.

Sunday 23rd June

Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet

BBC1, 10:25pm

For this one-off documentary, presented by Sue Barker, tennis ace Andy Murray has granted the BBC exclusive access to his life – both on and off the court.

As well as featuring interviews with his friends, family and sports rivals, Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet will give viewers a rare insight into his life, with particular focus on his activities outside of tennis and his journey to become a national icon.

As per his Wimbledon performance, if the documentary’s good, he’ll be ‘British’, but if it’s bad, he’ll undoubtedly be relegated to just ‘Scottish’.

Also on this thoroughly tennis-themed day: 2004 film Wimbledon (Channel 5, 4:20pm); Zac Efron and Matthew Perry star as the same person (but at different ages) in 17 Again (Channel 4, 6:05pm); Tom Hanks and Megan Ryan are in classic film Sleepless in Seattle (Channel 5, 6:05pm); Venus and Serena tells the story of the Williams sisters’ lives, in a way not too dissimilar to the Andy Murray documentary (BBC2, 7:00pm); Ed Byrne, Amir Khan and Denise Welch (now there’s an eclectic mix!) compete on Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (ITV, 7:00pm); Kate Humble and Helen Czerski present The Secret Life of the Sun (BBC2, 8:00pm); and documentary film Glastonbury, about the music festival of the same name, is on BBC2 at 11:30pm.

Monday 24th June

Bodyshock: The Man With the 10-Stone Testicles

Channel 4, 9:00pm

Men, prepare to wince.

In 2008, Wesley Warren Jr., from Las Vegas, turned over in bed and knocked his testicles, causing a shooting pain and immediate swelling. This swelling still continues, to the point where his testicles  now weigh an incredible 10 stone.'Bodyshock: The Man With the 10-Stone Testicles' - Channel 4, 9:00pm

This condition, which the doctors have referred to as scrotal lymphedema, is debilitating and humiliating for Wesley. He cannot wear trousers, drive a car or have sex, and can only sit down with the help of a milk crate.

The only way for Wesley to have his testicles treated is to pay for the relevant operation, which is what this Bodyshock special shows. The doctors who are preparing to treat Wesley have never seen a case like this before. Will he be able to regain his dignity and revert back to his normal life, after five years of pain and embarrassment or will it be a balls-up?


Also today: Coach Trip’s Brendan Sheerin’s new series, Brendan’s Magical Mystery Tour begins (Channel 4, 5:00pm); one-off documentary Traveller Feuds is on Channel 5 at 9:00pm; Don’t Call Me Crazy shows the experiences of teenage patients at Manchester’s McGuinness Mental Health Unit (BBC3, 9:00pm); two men set off on a Thai martial arts adventure in documentary series Kung Foolery (Sky1, 9:00pm); this week’s What a Load of Buzzcocks focuses on 2005 (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Daisy Donovan’s superb series The Greatest Shows on Earth continues (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Tuesday 25th June

Secrets From the Workhouse

ITV, 9:00pm

In Victorian society, the poor, homeless and unemployed were all sent to live in the workhouses –  otherwise they starved on the streets.

In these workhouses, the inhabitants were forced to work ten hour days, completing such menial tasks as breaking rocks or separating ropes. Again, this was their only option, other than starvation.

In this two-part series, stars such as Fern Britton, Brian Cox (the actor, not the professor), Kiera Chaplin and Barbara Taylor Bradford wade through history to discover what life was like for their own ancestors in such environments.

Also today: Alan Titchmarsh returns with Love Your Garden (ITV, 8:00pm); the conclusion of the very informative Something for Nothing (Channel 4, 8:00pm); we find out what has happened to Erica following her shock revelation to her brother in the superb Dates (Channel 4, 10:00pm); the series highlights of Sweat the Small Stuff (BBC3, 10:00pm); Mad Dogs: Behind the Madness goes behind the scenes of the third series of the drama about four mates abroad (Sky1, 10:00pm); Alan Yentob is back for another series of Imagine (BBC1, 10:35pm); and the final episode of Dawn O’Porter’s (suprisingly entertaining) documentary, How to Find Love Online (Channel 4, 10:35pm).

Wednesday 26th June

The Apprentice

BBC1, 9:00pm

Well there’s just no point in Lord Sugar continuing with his search for a business partner, now that he’s fired the brilliant Jason, is there? I was truly gutted when he abdicated last week and allowed 'Usurped' - last week's 'Apprentice' reject, Jason himself to be usurped by Luisa, who elbowed her way into becoming Project Manager. The Apprentice will not be the same without you, Mr Leech.

Anyway, back to this week. The ninth task that the candidates face is creating and branding their own ready meals, which means some of them are forced into the kitchen to whip up a tasty treat while the others are in charge of creating the brand itself. Then, the following day, the teams meet the heads of some of the UK’s biggest supermarket names, and pitch their new ready meals to them.

The question is: who will be left with a bitter taste in their mouth?

Also today: Sally Dynevor (Corrie’s Sally Webster), Splash! champ Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and JB Gill (25% of JLS) and their partners test their knowledge of each other on All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm).

Thursday 27th June

Eye Spy

Channel 4, 10:00pm

I struggled to understand this programme at first but am beginning to see how interesting it could be.

In this three-part series, members of the public will have their scruples tested to the max as they will 'Eye Spy' - Channel 4, 10:00pmbe secretly filmed facing dilemmas, stuck between what is morally right and what would be best for  themselves.

The first episode, for example, sees a bag stuffed with £30,000 in cash left in a public phone box – will anyone have the gall to take it? Also, a waiter in a restaurant faces a dilemma when he sees an interracial couple being harassed: will he fulfil his moral obligation and intervene or keep life simple for himself and turn a blind eye?

It should be very interesting to find out.

Also today: Four Weddings returns to Sky Living (8:00pm); Michael Scott examines the ancient Greeks in two-part documentary Who Were the Greeks? (BBC2, 9:00pm); and Radha Bedi presents India: A Dangerous Place to Be a Woman (BBC3, 9:00pm).

Friday 28th June


Across BBC TV and radio this weekend

Glastonbury 2013 is here, and presenters from across the Beeb’s radio stations will be bringing you coverage the weekend. For information on exactly when radio coverage will be available, check theJust part of the BBC's Glastonbury presenting team Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music schedules. On TV, hosts including Lauren Laverne, Chris Evans,  Gemma Cairney, Jo Whiley and Greg James (pictured, L-R) and many more will be switching between BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4 from tonight, beginning at 7:00pm on BBC3.

Right, well that’s the complicated scheduling info out of the way, now to the event itself. The line-up this year is incredible, with almost everyone who is important in music today taking to one of the six stages (including the BBC Introducing Stage, which has previously helped stars such as Jake Bugg, Florence and the Machine and Ed Sheeran shoot to fame).

The Rolling Stones are of course headlining on Saturday, and fans will be able to see an hour of their performance on the Pyramid Stage as the BBC reached an agreement with them just last week to dedicate that time to their set.

Plus, keeping with tradition, it’s going to rain for two of the three days! Yey!

Also today: Jimmy Carr, Griff Rhys Jones and Susanna Reid are on Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); Emma Willis sends another housemate packing in the Big Brother: Live Eviction (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Samuel L Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Nick Frost and Jake Bugg all drop by for the last in the series of The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore star in 2007 romance Music & Lyrics (ITV, 10:35pm); and there’s a repeat of Alan Carr’s hilarious 2011 Spexy Beast tour (Channel 4, 11:40pm).

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.

TV Highlights (8th – 14th June)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with the finale of Talent and the return of both Big Brother and the Drop.

Saturday 8th June

Britain’s Got Talent: The Final

ITV, 7:30pm

After weeks of seeing the weird and wonderful ‘talents’ which the people of Britain have to offer, this year’s BGT comes to a close with a two-and-a-half-hour long Final, where we will find out who has won that £250,000 prize and a spot on the bill at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

The line-up for this year’s Final is pretty impressive, with a health mix of many talents – not just the usual singers and dancers which we are accustomed to. Of course, there are still some (very good) singers in the Final, and here they are:

Richard & Adam

Arisxandra Libantino

Gabz Gardiner


Asanda Jezile

Jordan O’Keefe

Okay, so there are quite a lot of singers, but, as I said, they are all very good. I know that a lot of them will go on to be very successful – Simon Cowell himself has already expressed an interest in signing up Luminites and Gabz Gardiner. The younger singers, like Arisxandra and Asanda, are exceptionally talented (especially considering their age) but I think their recognition will come in a few years’ time.

Surprisingly, the only dancers in the line-up are Pre Skool and the rest are more ‘variety’ acts. There’s comedian Jack Carroll, impressionist Francine Lewis and shadow theatre group Attraction. If you’ve read my previous reviews of Britain’s Got Talent, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of Jack and I think that calling him ‘a comedy genius’ and ‘the next Peter Kay’ is a stretch. He’s popular, though (one person has even placed a £10,000 bet on him winning) so he may just snatch the title. Everyone is saying that Attraction  are the clear winners and, to an extent, I agree: their act is very unique to the competition and their talent is incredible. The only obstacle which I think they will have to overcome is their nationality – being from Hungary, a lot of people are up in arms about their temerity to enter a British talent show. Personally, I don’t see a problem – I’m just overjoyed that BGT has given them a platform to showcase their act. However, my personal favourite (and the act for which I will probably vote on the night) is Francine. Everything about her is fantastic – anyone who has seen her on More Talent or Loose Women this week will have gauged that she is a very down-to-earth and humble person with an incredible talent. She can not only impersonate instantly recognisable stars with precision, she also manages to produce, with the help of her cousin, a very funny and slightly tongue-in-cheek script. Like I said, I hope she wins, but even if she doesn’t, she will go onto success – after all, 2010 finalist Paul Burling got his own primetime Christmas show in the same year (even if it was a bit disappointing).

Of course, it’s not just the performances of the finalists which we can look forward to on Saturday night: Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and K-Pop star Psy will all be taking to the stage; we’ll discover who the Wildcard act is (my money is on either ventriloquist Steve Hewlett or another of the singers: Rosie O’Sullivan, Robbie Kennedy or Alice Fredenham).

Plus, Simon announced on last Saturday’s Britain’s Got More Talent that an announcement will be made on tonight’s Final about next year’s line-up – that’s including judges and presenters. Surely no one will get their P45 on-air?

Also today: Tim Burton’s remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Channel 5, 4:40pm); Stephen Mulhern will be having a talk with Ant & Dec, the judges and tonight’s BGT winner in Britain’s Got More Talent (ITV2, 10:00pm); and BBC2’s History of the Eagles explores the popularity of the US rock band (10:00pm).

Saturday 9th June

Tipping Point: Lucky Stars 

ITV, 7:00pm

This is just another name for a celebrity special of teatime gameshow Tipping Point.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Tipping Point but I do sometimes catch the end of it when a switch over for The Chase, and it has grown on me. The game involves contestants answering general knowledge questions in order to earn coins. These coins are worth £100 each (£50 in the regular series) and are then deposited into a giant arcade-style penny-pushing machine. In each round, a player is eliminated until only one is left. That surviving player then enters the Final Round and, by answering a series of questions, aims to get the jackpot counter back out of the machine – if they do this, then they will win £20,000 (the top prize is normally £10,000). It’s pretty straight forward but not particularly exhilarating.

This episode sees Sky Sports’ Chris Kamara, Countdown’s Rachel Riley and former I’m a Celebrity… Queen, Stacey Solomon take part. In the future eleven episodes, we can expect to see lots of Loose Women, Dancing on Ice stars and ITV soap actors. And bearing in mind that participants Denise Welch and Suzanne Shaw both fit into all three categories, the variety of contestants is not particularly large. It should be quite fun, though.

Also today: Liz Bonnin presents two-part documentary Operation Snow Tiger (BBC2, 8:00pm); David Suchet is back as Agatha Christie’s eponymous Belgian sleuth, Poirot (ITV, 8:00pm); aviation troubles are investigated in Terror in the Skies (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Professor Iain Stewart focuses on Africa for the first episode of Rise of the Continents (BBC2, 9:00pm); seemingly gripping French thriller The Returned begins on Channel 4 (9:00pm); one-off musical extravaganza Bollywood Carmen Live (BBC3, 9:00pm); Dan Snow fronts D-Day: The Last Heroes (BBC1, 9:10pm); and 2008 thriller Law Abiding Citizen is on Channel 4 at 10:10pm.

Monday 10th June


Channel 4, 10:00pm

As part of Channel 4’s Dating Season, Dates is a series of nine one-off dramas about people looking for love.

Written by Skins creator Bryan Elsley, Dates features a host of stars – Sheridan Smith, Montana Thompson (remember Justine from Tracy Beaker?) and Fresh Meat’s Greg McHugh and Gemma Chan, to name just a few – who play people who are just coming onto the dating scene, and with mixed results. Over the nine episodes, the individual stories will begin to intertwine and we will discover'Dates' - Channel 4, 10:00pm more about the characters.

In this opening episode, Will Mellor stars as David, a Yorkshire lorry driver who is beginning to  experiment with internet dating. When he arranges to meet Mia (played by Oona Chaplin), he realises that he may have taken on more than he can handle.

Also today: Rav Wilding is back with another series of Crimewatch Roadshow (BBC1, 9:15am); Dame Judi Dench guest stars in the final episode of the far from ‘dench’ Vicious (ITV, 9:00pm); Big Fat Gypsy Weddings: Life on the Run (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Karl gets a promotion in the last in the series of The Job Lot (ITV, 9:30pm); 2004 is the focus of another What a Load of Buzzcocks (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Prince William comes to the aid of a boy in a quarry in new series Helicopter Rescue (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Tuesday 11th June

Agnetha: Abba & After

BBC1, 10:35pm

Agnetha Fältskog was already a success in Sweden. Her debut single shifted an impressive 80,000 copies when she was just fifteen-years-old. However, it was a chance meeting with Björn Ulvaeus that led to her being the Eurovision-winning, chart-topping superstar that we know her to be today.

It is this rise to fame which is detailed in this one-off documentary, for which the BBC has been granted access to Agnetha’s recording studio and she herself has broken her silence on her rise to fame, and the heartache that came with it.

As well as featuring interviews with many who know Agnetha – including her ABBA collaborators – Abba & After will see her and Gary Barlow, with whom she has duetted on her most recent album, meet for the very first time.

Also today: Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun follows life in the British Overseas Territory in the south of Spain (Channel 5, 8:00pm); and Child Genius explores the lives of those partaking in a Mensa-organised competition to unearth the best young brain in Britain (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Wednesday 12th June

The Apprentice

BBC1, 9:00pm

This week, Lord Sugar sends the candidates off to the Motorhome and Caravan Show, where they,Jason Leech - 'Apprentice' candidate as always, must showcase their best sales skills to make money and win the task.

I must say that my favourite candidate is undoubtedly Jason. I wasn’t too sure about him at first (describing yourself as having ‘effortless superiority’ is seldom going to gain you fans) but now I’m genuinely rooting for him – even though I doubt he has much of a chance of succeeding. I feel sorry for him, to be honest: he doesn’t know when to just keep his mouth closed and stop applying his patter, and if there’s been the opportunity to keep him out of the way of the customers (by making him work away in the kitchen, for example), the teams have taken it. Despite having not shown a shred of the aforementioned ‘effortless superiority’ which he claims to have, I just think he’s harmless – but if I was Lord Sugar, I don’t think I’d want him working with me…

Having said all that about the teams wanting to keep him out of the way of the customers, this week’s task will see him break away and actually communicate with people all by himself – and receive praise from Karren for it!

Also today: Ricky Tomlinson, Paula Radcliffe and Strictly’s Ola and James Jordan test their knowledge of their partners in All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm); Baltimore-set hit musical Hairspray is on E4 (8:00pm); action thriller Con Air (BBC3, 9:00pm); The Motorbike Show is back (ITV4, 9:00pm); and Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live has been moved to 10:30pm for the last episode of the current series – and, although I’ve quite enjoyed it, I doubt we’ll be seeing it again.

Thursday 13th June

Big Brother: Secrets & Lies

Channel 5, 9:00pm

Yes, it’s back – and apparently meaner than ever!

The fourteenth series of Big Brother kicks off tonight with the first of two Launch Shows, which will of course see its new host Emma Willis (poor Brian!) introducing the housemates who we will be getting to know very well over the next three months (!).

Channel 5 have confirmed that this year’s house will have a green feel, with the focus of the housemates’ time within the compound on ‘self-sufficiency and recycling’. The Good Life meets Big Brother, if you can imagine such a thing. There’s also the main theme of Secrets & Lies, which will make the housemates’ lives undoubtedly tougher and allow Big Brother to manipulate them and viewers alike. In fact, we’ve already been tricked by the Orwellian figure, as the original Eye for this series was fake, and a new one has now been released. Sneaky old BB, eh?

Channel 5 and Endemol really are pulling out all the stops this year and bombarding us with Big Brother programming. In addition to the main show and Bit on the Side (which Emma will host three days a week, with Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu replacing Jamie East and Alice Levine), there will also be: nightly live coverage from the house on digital channel 5*; Rylan presenting a special companion show at Sunday lunchtimes; and (perhaps most unbelievably) Big Brother’s Bit on the Psych, in which psychologists will discuss the minutiae of the goings-on inside the house. Now I quite like Big Brother, but Bit on the Psych is a bit much!

I’ve only started watching Big Brother since its move to Channel 5 and, although I always try not to, I inevitably get drawn in by it, and end up sacrificing my summer to watch it. I don’t like myself for liking it, but I do anyway.

Also today – I swear these are all real shows: New documentary Compare Your Life sees former CEO of Carlton Hood help families change their lives by adopting a comparison website-style outlook on life (Channel 4, 8:00pm); William and Kate: Baby Makes Three looks at how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are approaching parenthood (Channel 5, 8:00pm); comedy film The Nutty Professor (ITV2, 8:00pm); Happy Families follows three British families and their everyday troubles (ITV, 9:00pm); Confessions of an Alien Abductee (Channel 4, 9:00pm) is pretty self-explanatory; hit film Billy Elliot (BBC4, 9:00pm); Mock the Week returns with a great line-up of Milton Jones, Josh Widdicombe and Katherine Ryan (BBC2, 10:00pm); and Sex Toy Stories sees eight volunteers help the Ann Summers company develop a new, well, sex toy (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Friday 14th June

The Million Pound Drop Live

Channel 4, 9:00pm

You may think that she’s never off our screens – and you’d be right! Davina McCall is back with another series of The Million Pound Drop, the quiz show in which contestants begin with £1,000,000'The Million Pound Drop Live' - Channel 4, 9:00pm and, over the course of eight questions, try and keep as much of it as they can by either spreading it on multiple possible answers or gambling and placing it all upon one answer.

There’s also a new twist this series. If a pair reach the final question, they will face a tough choice, which will result in either ‘double the money or double the heartache’.

The show is gripping and really interactive, too. You can contact the show via Facebook or Twitter to be in with a chance of having your message read out or displayed on-screen during the show. Also, you can play along with the show live – either on the show’s website or with the mobile app. Do well enough and you might have your progress mentioned by Davina on the show.

The Million Pound Drop will be on every Friday and Saturday for the next six weeks.

Also today: Ben Fogle explores the lives of people living around Poole Harbour in Harbour Lives (ITV, 8:00pm); Sarah Millican, Jon Richardson and Bob Mortimer are among the panellists on Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); there’s the second Big Brother launch show (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe and Katy B drop by for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); and don’t pop out, go out or even ‘out out’ – stay in for a repeat of Micky Flanagan’s Out Out Tour on Channel 4 at 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 £1,646 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 – (18th – 24th May)

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

Saturday 18th May

Eurovision Song Contest

BBC1, 8:00pm

Come on, Bonnie! Well, it can’t be any worse than last year…

Yes, Graham Norton is once again stepping into the commentary box for the annual camp fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest and this year, we’re hoping that Bonnie Tyler will be our hero (aren’t I clever?) and not receive the dreaded ‘nil points’.'Eurovision Song Contest' - BBC1 - 8:00pm

Can she do it, though? Can she end the UK’s sixteen-year run of not catapulting to the top spot? I doubt it. The song is good (I can see it being an X Factor winner’s single some time soon) but it’s just not…Eurovision, is it? I mean take Romania’s entry or Albania’s. Now they are Eurovision!

Despite that, though, I wish Bonnie the very best of luck. Hopefully we won’t be saying ‘It’s a Heartache’ and she will have instead ‘Amazed’ the judges and shown herself to be ‘The Best’.

And yes I am ashamed of being able to incorporate Bonnie Tyler’s discography into a sentence.

Also today: The series finale of Doctor Who (BBC1, 7:00pm); fantasy film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Channel 4, 7:15pm); more auditions on Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 7:30pm); historically prominent families expose their day-to-day lives in The Aristocrats (More4, 8:00pm); business drama film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Lee Evans, Gemma Arterton and the cast of Mad Dogs are guests on the final episode of The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:45pm); and East is East spin-off, the imaginatively titled West is West, is on BBC2 at 10:15pm.

Sunday 19th May

Case Histories 

BBC1, 8:30pm

I should confess that, for whatever reason, I didn’t watch the first series of Case Histories – but I will definitely watch this episode because of one thing: the presence of Victoria Wood (who is also celebrating her 60th birthday today – happy birthday, Victoria!).

'Case Histories' - BBC1 - 8:30pmIn this episode (the first of the second series), private investigator Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs)  unearths a secret of over three decades when he helps a woman trace her birth parents. During his investigation, he crosses paths with Tracy (Victoria Wood), who is a former policewoman and now working as a store detective. Normally plain and simple, Tracy takes a surprising course of action when she discovers a young girl who has been physically abused by her mother. When the mother dies, Tracy and the girl are forced to go on the run and present Brodie with a moral dilemma.

Also today: Agatha Christie murder mystery Murder on the Orient Express (ITV, 12:15pm); the quite disappointing follow-up to Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty (ITV, 4:10pm); Alan Titchmarsh fronts the Chelsea Flower Show (BBC1, 5:00pm); Alice Roberts investigates the animals which inhabited the planet 40,000 years ago in Ice Age Giants (BBC2, 8:00pm); Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors get their often unfair but traditional snubbing at The British Soap Awards (ITV, 8:00pm); Alex Beresford presents World’s Weirdest Weather (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Australia with Simon Reeve is on BBC2 at 9:00pm; and Channel 4 premieres The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook, at 9:00pm.

Monday 20th May


BBC1, 9:00pm

In this special edition of Panorama, Peter Marshall investigates how numerous official studies left the truth about the Hillsborough disaster concealed for decades.

The programme, entitled ‘Hillsborough: How They Buried the Truth’, also features previously unseen footage which exposes the major failures of the emergency services.

Also today: Fiona Foster and Rani Price present Don’t Get Done in the Sun (BBC1, 11:00am); Branded a Witch investigates the cases of children being accused of practicing witchcraft in the UK (BBC3, 9:00pm); and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is on ITV2 at 9:00pm.

Tuesday 21st May

Town with Nicholas Crane

BBC2, 9:00pm

Geographer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane is back for another series of Town, in which he travels the British Isles to expose the pleasures of…towns – and shows them to be, while not huge, just as good as a city.

In this episode, Nicholas visits Oban in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, to reveal its part in the Cold War and how it is home to one of the country’s oldest whisky distilleries.

Also today: Not Going Out fans will be delighted as there are puns aplenty in Tim Vine’s Punslinger (ITV4, 7:30pm); and BBC4 gains an insight into the work carried out at Belfast City Hall in Love and Death in City Hall at 9:00pm.

Wednesday 21st May

The Apprentice 

BBC1, 9:00pm

We’re now two weeks into this year’s Apprentice and it appears that both Lord Sugar and the audience have begun to sort the wheat from the chaff as Jaz (‘I’m half machine’ woman), Tim and Sophie have all been fired from the ‘process’ (God I hate that word!).

This week, the candidates must set up their own farm shops and sell their stock in east London. Will ‘silly shit’ Jason manage to not rub Alex and Zeeshaan up the wrong way and will Myles manage to go an episode without parading around in some sort of far-too-revealing underwear?

I really hope so.

I also want to mention The Apprentice: You’re Fired, which is on BBC2 at 10pm – right after the main show finishes on BBC1. It really is quite fun, usually with a panel comprising of a business expert, a celebrity fan and a comedian to give their take on what that night’s fired candidate did wrong – with the person in question sitting right at the other end of the panel. Dara O Briain does a great job as the host of the show and we often get to see a lighter, more humorous side to the candidates.

Also today: Jennie McAlpine, Sally Gunnell and TOWIE’s Joey Essex and Sam Faiers are all on All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm). Thank God it’s not Kirk Nocross on the show: it is pre-watershed, after all…

Thursday 23rd May

Fat Family Tree 

Channel 4, 8:00pm 'Fat Family Tree' - Channel 4 - 8:00pm

Look at the title. It had to be a Channel 4 show, didn’t it?

In this one-off documentary, Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Dawn Harper helps an overweight family trace their roots and solve their lifelong struggle with body size.

Just imagine Who Do You Think You Are? meets The Biggest Loser.

Also today: Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory study The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (BBC2, 9:00pm); cameras follow the work of Telford police in The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Most Shocking Talent Show Moments (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and the first of the two-part documentary series, Eddie Izzard’s Mandela Marathons (Sky1, 9:00pm).

Friday 24th May

World’s Scariest Weddings

Channel 5, 9:00pm

I’ve written about a lot of drama and documentaries this week (Eurovision seems to have been the only light hearted feature!) so I thought I’d end on something with a funnier feel to it: World’s Scariest Weddings.

From weird weddings to preposterous proposals, comedian Milo McCabe guides you through the best, featuring home footage of them all and interviews with the people who were there (fortunately or otherwise) to witness them.

Also today: Dermot O’Leary and Matt Dawson offer their bizarre statements in Would I Lie To You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); Alexander Armstrong hosts Have I Got News For You for the twenty-first time (BBC1, 9:00pm); Diarmaid MacCulloch argues against the theories about Cromwell’s corruption in Henry VIII’s Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell (BBC2, 9:00pm); Peter Kay Live at the Manchester Arena is on Channel 4 at 9:00pm; Olly Murs and the stars of The Hangover: Part III are on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); 2008 comedy film Made of Honour is on Channel 5 at 10:00pm; and Will and Jaden Smith, Michael Douglas and Bradley Cooper comprise arguably one of the biggest line-ups for The Graham Norton Show so far this series (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 £1,486 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 (4th – 10th May)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – and introductions to this year’s Apprentice hopefuls.

Saturday 4th May

Britain’s Got Talent

ITV, 7:15pm

Britain’s Got Talent can often be difficult to watch. The manipulation of auditionees, exposing and ridiculing them purely for the public’s entertainment, has become more apparent to me during this series.

Yet I can’t stop watching.

Somehow BGT has something which The Voice UK can only dream of. Exactly what that ‘something’ is, I don’t know – but if definitely has it. Perhaps it’s the ability to entertain…

This week, a dancing duo who go by the name of Martin & Marielle amaze the judges (and, from what I’ve seen, you will undoubtedly be amazed too), drag act Bosom Buddies take to the stage, and MckNasty sails through his audition with his drumming/DJing. It probably also helps that he’s Labrinth’s brother. And Labrinth is managed by Simon Cowell.

Also today: Ahead of Into Darkness’ release on Friday, Star Trek is on Channel 4 at 9:00pm and Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana, the film’s stars, are guests on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:20pm).

Sunday 5th May

The Village

BBC1, 9:00pm'The Village' - BBC1, 9:00pm

I’m going to be honest, I stopped watching The Village after the second episode. The first instalment was brilliant, but the second was weaker – so I stopped watching. Now I’m hearing really good things about it but it’s too late to return, so all I can do is preview tonight’s final episode and envy those of you who persevered.

The 1920s marks the end of the war for the Middletons, and the village mourns the many residents it lost during the conflict. As the surviving locals decide how best to honour the fallen, friction is caused until they all eventually agree on a memorial. However, one name has been left off of the list – which causes upset.

Fans of The Village will be pleased to know that a second series of the show has been commissioned for next year. Peter Moffatt, the series’ writer and creator, said, ‘I’m thrilled at the prospect of bringing to the screen the plans I’ve got for all these characters (and some new ones) as the life of the village moves away from the horror of war and into the roaring Twenties.’

Also today: Romantic classic Dirty Dancing is on Channel 5 at 6:00pm; Channel 4 premieres Gulliver’s Travels, starring Jack Black and Jason Segel, at 7:25pm; the final episode of Endeavour is on (ITV, 8:00pm); and Hugh Laurie presents the last episode of Perspectives, looking at the history of American blues music (ITV, 10:00pm) – also see Friday’s episode of The Graham Norton Show form more music from Hugh.

Bank Holiday Monday (6th May)

Planet Earth: A Month in the Wild

BBC1, 4:00pm

This special documentary examines the importance of the month of May for the animal kingdom.

Across the world, May signals the beginning of new life and over the course of this 90-minute documentary, we will see five animal families try to survive the month – including a baby elephant in Kenya taking its first steps, an endangered meerkat in the Kalahari Desert and two black bear cubs in North America who will rely on their mother to see them through May.

Also today: a SuperScrimpers special is on Channel 4 at 8:00pm; Jason Bradbury is back with more Motor Morphers (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is on BBC1 at 8:30pm; whether it’s good for business I don’t know but it is quite enjoyable – Greggs: More Than Meats the Pie continues (Sky1, 9:00pm); and ITV commences with its quite average night of Monday comedies – Vicious is on at 9:00pm and the, quite safer, The Job Lot is at 9:30pm.

Tuesday 7th May

The Apprentice

BBC1, 9:00pm

Up here in the North-East, Prokofiev’s ‘Dance of the Knights’ could signal two things: either the Sunderland football team are emerging from the tunnel at the Stadium of Light, ready to do their supporters proud (or, as they did on Monday when playing Aston Villa, simply relax for a bit) or The Apprentice is back for yet another bloody series. It may be less exciting, but tonight it is the case of the latter as Lord Sugar and his aides, Karren Brady and Nick Hewer, are ready to put another sixteen candidates through their paces and, at the end, find someone to enter into certain obscurity and become Sir Alan’s new business partner.

So, who are this year’s hopefuls?

Luisa Zissman - 'The Apprentice' 2013 Luisa Zissman

Luisa is a Retail Entrepreneur from St. Albans who describes herself as having ‘The energy of a Duracell bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, and a brain like Einstein.’

She also claims to be confident, logical and outspoken.




Uzma Yakoob - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Uzma Yakoob

Uzma, a Make-Up Brand Owner from London, thinks of herself as confident, creative but impatient.

She said, ‘If I believe in something, I will go to the end to make sure it’s done.’




Leah Totton - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Leah Totton

 A twenty-four-year-old Doctor, originally from Northern Ireland, Leah says that others think of her as caring, kind and professional – although she can often be too ambitious. Ah! The old ‘pretending a positive is a negative’ trick, eh?

Apparently she can bring ‘youth, vibrancy, enthusiasm and a touch of class to any business.’



Jaz Ampaw-Farr - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Jaz Ampaw-Farr

 Jaz is a Literacy and Education Company Director from Milton Keynes.

According to her, she ‘can process things at a speed which is out of this world!’ and has no time for those who do not share her vision for business.

So she can calculate fast, can she? Let’s just wait and see…


Sophie Lau - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Sophie Lau

 Sophie is a Restaurateur from Bristol who claims to be innovative and intelligent.

She also says, ‘I don’t have a mutli-million pound business but what I do have is the raw talent, the drive and the competitive streak.’



Rebecca Slater - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Rebecca Slater

 A Medical Rep from Wigan, Rebecca is inspired by Alex Polizzi and Mary Portas’s willingness to try anything and thinks of herself as authentic, generous and adventurous – but impatient, just like Uzma.

As her picture suggests, Rebecca is a feisty figure, claiming, ‘If somebody crosses me, it’s game over.’



Francesca MacDuff-Varley - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Francesca MacDuff-Varley

Francesca works as a Dance and Entertainment Entrepreneur in Leeds and is therefore unsurprisingly inspired by Debbie Moore (founder of Pineapple Dance Studios) and Arlene Phillips.

It looks as if Rebecca may have a fight on her hands to be the toughest cookie in the board room, as Francesca says, ‘I’m prepared to fight to the death to become Lord Sugar’s business partner.’


Natalie Panayi - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Natalie Panayi

A Recruitment Manager from Rickmansworth, Natalie is passionate about fashion and money.

She says, ‘When it comes to business, I am the complete package, and when it comes to sales, I’m the best.’

Let’s hope she’s not setting herself up for a huge fall, eh?



Tim Stillwell - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Tim Stillwell

Tim is a Mexican Food Entrepreneur and is interested in food and money.

Apparently, he has a ‘happy-go-lucky’ and ‘never give up’ attitude and is energetic. However, he has said that he can become unfocused at times.

Well I bet that’s exactly what Lord Sugar wants in a business partner. I admire his honesty, though.


Neil Clough - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Neil Clough

Neil works as a Regional Manager for soccer centres in Altrincham and claims to be focused (meaning he already has an advantage over Tim), determined and driven. He also admits, though, that he can be very competitive and very opinionated.

Oh, and he’s a Manchester United fan – so he may have made enemies in  Tottenham-supporting Sugar and West Ham’s Vice-Chairman, Karren Brady.


Alex Mills - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Alex Mills

As well as looking like the love child of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and David Mitchell, Alex is a Company Director from Cardiff who is interested in calculations and design and claims ‘I’m the new breed of businessman that this process requires.’

Oh, yeah. I’d forgotten that candidates refer to this reality television programme as ‘a process’.


Zeeshaan Shah - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Zeeshaan Shah

I don’t think he is sneering at the camera. Although it certainly looks like he is.

Zeeshaan is the CEO of a Property Investment Company in London. He grew up in Pakistan and believes his greatest strengths to be his eternal optimism (he doesn’t look optimistic in the picture!), his street-smartness and good connections.


Jason Leech - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Jason Leech

Jason is a Property Entrepreneur from London who respects businesses such as John Lewis, Waitrose and American Express for their quality and high standard of customer service. Oh, and he watches Question Time.

Jason describes himself as having ‘effortless superiority’.

Doesn’t he sound like a joy to work with?


Jordan Poulton - 'The Apprentice' 2013 Jordan Poulton

Jordan works as a Business Analyst in London and, while he finds it difficult to ask for help, he is optimistic, charismatic and calm under pressure.

He summarises his worldly experience by saying this: ‘I have worked in third-world countries and first-world countries. I know what it’s like to struggle to feed kids and I know what it’s like to fly in a private jet.’


Kurt Wilson - 'The Apprentice' 2013

Kurt Wilson

In Liverpool, Kurt is a Health & Safety Manager and Health Drink Entrepreneur.

He seems very determined, having said, ‘I’m an alpha-male; I always get my own way and know what to make people do what I want.’

Okay, Kurt. Okay.


Myles Mordaunt - 'The Apprentice' 2013 Myles Mordaunt

Myles is a Marketing Company Co-Founder and, in his words, ‘business perfection personified.’ Nice alliteration there, Myles.

Apparently, he is also ‘passionate, charming and determined’ but has a tendency to be ‘too much of a perfectionist.’

Just reading that makes me want to hurl a brick through my computer screen.

So, there we have it. The 2013 hopefuls (sorry, candidates) hoping to impress Lord Sugar. I have a feeling that some will try to impress too much. But then I suppose you don’t need to when you’re ‘business perfection personified’ – eh, Myles?

Tonight, the teams must try to sell the contents of two shipping containers – but one will be given The Finger and ‘Fired!’ by Sir Alan.

Also today: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are the focus of the first episode of Caroline Quentin’s National Parks (ITV, 8:00pm); Chris Tarrant hosts the first of three special Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? episodes, during which viewers can play along at home (someone’s been taking inspiration from The Million Pound Drop…) (ITV, 9:00pm); The Apprentice’s Rebecca Slater may need to control her excitement as Mary Portas’s new series, Mary Queen of the High Street, begins (Channel 4, 9:00pm); and Jo Fairley, Katherine Ryan and Matt Edmondson share their views on tonight’s episode of The Apprentice: You’re Fired (BBC2, 10:00pm).

Wednesday 8th May


BBC2, 9:00pm

Created in partnership with The Open University, Bankers is the BBC’s attempt to answer to fundamental questions: will bankers ever regain our trust, and what exactly do we want from them?

Over the three-part series, experts such as bank bosses, regulators and politicians offer first-hand experience of the banking crisis and delve into the complexities of it.

In this first episode, ‘Fixing the System’, the Libor interest-rate fixing scandal is discussed, as are its effects on industry last summer.

Also today: Gabby Logan, Toyah Willcox and EastEnders’ Jake Wood and their partners test their knowledge of each other in All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm); the second episode of The Apprentice sees the teams try to sell their own brand of flavoured beer (BBC1, 9:00pm); and A Question of Sport, postponed from 1st May, is broadcast on BBC1 at 10:35pm.

Thursday 9th May

Murder on the Home Front

ITV, 9:00pm

Loosely based on Molly Lefebure’s (Keith Simpson’s secretary during the Second World War) memoirs, Murder on the Home Front stars Boardwalk Empire’s Patrick Kennedy alongside Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors) and The Vicar of Dibley’s James Fleet.

This new crime drama depicts the 1940s Blitz, during which the people of London were truly living life for the moment, but sheds a different life on it – presenting it as full of vibrancy, energy and rebelliousness.

However, Murder on the Home Front also shows those who picked the moments of darkness, during the Luftwaffe’s attacks, to commit crime – and literally get away with murder.

Also today: Bradford: City of Dreams delves into life in the West Yorkshire city (BBC2, 8:00pm); Star Trek: The True Story begins its three-part run (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Paul O’Grady is back in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for another series of his award-winning For the Love of Dogs (ITV, 8:30pm); BBC1 launches its show which is in no way inspired by Channel 4’s Hoarder Next Door, Britain’s Biggest Hoarders (BBC1, 9:00pm); Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, starring a young Russell Tovey and James Corden alongside the late Richard Griffiths, is on BBC4 at 9:00pm; and one-off documentary Sex on Wheels takes a candid look at how disabled people keep their romance alive (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Friday 10th May

Life of Crime

ITV, 9:00pm

Written by Declan Croghan (who has also worked on Taggart, Ripper Street and Waking the Dead), Life of Crime starts Hayley Atwell as Denise Woods – a policewoman who is far from afraid to take risks.

The three episodes which comprise this series depict Denise’s three decades in the force, from her fight against sexism in her twenties right through to the present day, in her late forties/early fifties, when she is a senior officer with a lot to lose.

When we join Denise in this first episode, it is 1985, she is a young WPC, full of ideas and rebelling against her mother’s far more sensible career wishes for her. However, when she finds a young girl dead in a narrow alley after the Brixton Riots, she begins to fight to bring the killer to justice.

Also today: Stephen Mangan, Gok Wan, Isy Suttie and Charles Dance exchange truths and untruths in another episode of Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); John Cooper Clarke and Michael Fabricant are on Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); Chawton House plays host to a Regency ball to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s classic novel in Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball (BBC2, 9:00pm); Rob Brydon, David Gandy and Jessie Ware appear on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); The Suspicions of Mr Whicher gets a repeat, ahead of its return on Sunday (12th May) (ITV, 10:25pm); and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Broadchurch’s (surely BAFTA-winning?) star Olivia Colman and Lord Sugar take a seat for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm) – which also features a performance from Hugh Laurie. And if Stephen Fry cannot be seen flamboyantly preparing a cocktail while Hugh plays the piano, I shall be sorely disappointed.

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 £1,340 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.