Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV.
Saturday 18th May
Eurovision Song Contest
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’.
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
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!).
In 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
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
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
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
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.