TV Highlights TV Highlights

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

Published Fri, 17 Nov 2017

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

Series 17 – Episode 1. Sunday 9pm – 10:45pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

New series. Ant and Dec present the celebrity survival challenge, as another batch of famous faces are flown out to the Australian jungle, where they can look forward to completing the usual round of tough daily tasks and dreaded Bushtucker Trials until one of them is chosen as this year’s king or queen.

Contestants are comedian Shappi Khorsandi, boxer Amir Khan, Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas, Coronation Street actor Jennie McAlpine, The Saturdays singer Vanessa White, Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo, former footballer Dennis Wise, social media sensation Jack Maynard and Rebekah Vardy, wife of England footballer Jamie.

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Children in Need 2017

Published Fri, 17 Nov 2017

Children in Need 2017

Today 7:30pm – 10pm.  BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Last year Children in Need raised more than £46 million on the night, an extraordinarily generous amount in what are, for many people, austere times. But it’s a good cause, so if you’re not busy fund-raising by doing something bonkers, make a donation early on so you can enjoy a guilt-free night of entertainment.

It’s all fun, but definitely worth picking out is the Blue Peter does Strictly segment – plenty of jazz hands judging by the training photos. The cast of EastEnders (who always do themselves proud) are promising a showstopping medley in the Square, and there are previews of several big Christmas dramas, too.

At 10pm it’s over to BBC2 for a Weakest Link Celebrity Special, which should be very special indeed, and then the party continues back on BBC1 with Rita Ora among others. And of course there’ll be reminders of what this is all about – funding projects that help children and young people. Dig deep.

SUMMARY

Tess Daly and Ade Adepitan introduce a night of entertainment as the BBC’s annual appeal night gets under way, beginning with a performance from the hit West End musical Annie featuring Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan. 8.00 The cast members of EastEnders reveal hidden talents as they sing their way round the Square in a show-stopping musical medley. Plus, the Children’s Choir performs live in unison across the nation and some deserving children get the surprise of their lives. 8.30 Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc host as the presenters of Countryfile swap their Wellington boots for cowboy boots in an unmissable performance. Plus, the Rickshaw Challenge team from The One Show crosses the finish line in Glasgow. 9.00 Former Blue Peter hosts Mark Curry, Diane Louise Jordan, Anthea Turner, Tim Vincent, Konnie Huq and Radzi Chinyanganya take to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom, competing to win the Pudsey Glitterball trophy. Plus, Joanna Lumley helps crown someone very special – the Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year. 9.30 Some Children in Need project workers come face to face with one of their heroes and the charity’s official single is performed live in the studio.

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Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Live: 2017

Published Fri, 20 Oct 2017

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Live: 2017

Sunday 7:35pm – 10:10pm Channel 4 (HD), All 4.

Steve Jones presents coverage of the 17th race of the season (Start-time 8.00pm), held at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Lewis Hamilton has dominated the second half of the campaign, as main rival Sebastian Vettel has been beset by problems.

The Mercedes driver could clinch the drivers’ title this evening, starting the race with a 59-point cushion, although there are still 100 points available, and victory for Vettel would narrow the gap ahead the next race in Mexico. With analysis by David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Eddie Jordan.

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New: Gunpowder

Published Fri, 20 Oct 2017

New: Gunpowder

Series 1 – Episode 1. Tomorrow 9:10pm – 10:10pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Much of the excitement around this retelling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot has centred on the presence of Game of Thrones star Kit Harington as lead rebel Robert Catesby. But though he broods beautifully, others steal the limelight at this stage, in particular Mark Gatiss in full sail as King James’s ruthless spy master Sir Robert Cecil.

The hunchbacked Cecil is set on rooting out Catholic plotters (despite being mocked as a “beagle” at James’s rather camp court) and he is helped by enforcer William Wade, a menacing turn from Shaun Dooley, with a real whiff of sulphur about him.

The stakes are high. In the opening scene, Wade turns up to search the house of Catesby’s aunt, hunting for Jesuit priests who we know are hidden behind the panelling: it’s the grimmest imaginable game of hide and seek with dire consequences if he succeeds.

And there’s worse to come: after a few scenes, you may be quaking slightly at the horror of it all. The fireworks will come later, but the fuse is lit for a very potent drama indeed.

SUMMARY

New series. Following the death of Elizabeth I, King James of Scotland claims the English throne, and the country goes to war with Catholic Spain. As a result, English Catholics are persecuted and driven into hiding, but after witnessing the brutal means by which the Crown intends to punish his people for practicing their faith, recusant Catholic Robert Catesby devises a treasonous plot to assassinate King James. However, he must first enlist the aid of stalwart allies, and heads to Brussels to seek the help of a hardened war veteran named Guy Fawkes. Three-part historical drama, starring Kit Harington as Catesby – his own ancestor – alongside Liv Tyler, Mark Gatiss, Derek Riddell and Tom Cullen.

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Last in Series: Cold Feet

Published Fri, 20 Oct 2017

Last in Series: Cold Feet

Series 7 – Episode 7. Today 9pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

It’s the morning after the night before, when the Cold Feeters consider what happened at that excruciating 50th birthday party in the chilly light of day.

As ever, Adam’s inability to be straightforward and honest with the women in his life hovers over everyone. But Pete and Jen have their problems, too – she’s bored and he’s defensive.

It’s the final, bittersweet, tearful episode in the second series of Mike Bullen’s reboot and I’ll be sorry to see everyone go. Unlike every other mainstream drama, at least Cold Feet has charm and humour and people to care about.

By the way, pat yourself on the back if you recognise Badly Drawn Boy playing a busker.

SUMMARY

Reeling from the revelation that Adam has cheated, Tina arranges a rendezvous with Sarah to hear her side of the story. Karen’s feelings for Gareth are tested when she discovers that he has kept a big part of his life from her, while David takes matters into his own hands after a threat is made towards his daughters. Although in no position to do so, Adam offers Pete some relationship advice – with disastrous consequences. Indie singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy makes an appearance as a busker, alongside James Nesbitt, Leanne Best, Hermione Norris, Robert Bathurst and John Thomson.

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The X Factor: Bootcamp

Published Fri, 29 Sep 2017

The X Factor: Bootcamp

Series 14. Tomorrow 8pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

If you’re one of those people who think that The X Factor is too cruel, brutal and encourages people to trample over one another to make it to the top, this week will prove you completely and utterly…right.

The successful singers from the closed-room auditions are now heading to Bootcamp to face the “Wall of Songs”. This gimmick sees all the singers put at one end of a warehouse, and a metal frame with the names of songs attached positioned at the other. In scenes reminiscent of Black Friday at Asda, they charge forth at the sound of a klaxon to fight over which song they will perform for the judges. Last year, presenter Dermot O’Leary rightly described it as “absolute mayhem”.

SUMMARY

The nationwide auditions are now over, having introduced the UK to the likes of Irish busker brothers Sean and Conor Price, and new dad Sam Black, who turned up to the first round of auditions with his partner and baby son in tow. Now, the long-list of would-be pop icons has been assembled, and Dermot O’Leary presents as the Bootcamp stage of this year’s contest begins. Judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh set the contestants a series of tests to demonstrate their ability to sing and dance, with the outcome deciding who gets to go through to this year’s Six Chair Challenge. First, the competitors must race to the Wall of Songs, where they must choose a tune to perform in a group of four. If their ensembles are successful, the stars-in-training will progress to the next stage of Bootcamp – the Arena Auditions.

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New Series: The Graham Norton Show

Published Fri, 29 Sep 2017

New Series: The Graham Norton Show

Series 22 – Episode 1. Today 10:35pm – 11:25pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

When Graham Norton was a – admittedly slightly uncomfortable – guest on American chat show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert he revealed how he gets so much out of his guests. “Liquor them up first,” he said brightly. And make sure that no more than one of them gives monosyllabic answers, he added. As Norton’s red sofa is groaning with Hollywood A-listers tonight, there’s no chance of that – with or without the aid of green room refreshment.

None of them is a stranger to the Norton style of questioning. Harrison Ford took a while to warm up last time he was on but was charmingly amusing in the end while Ryan Gosling was hilarious as he visibly cringed at footage of his 12-year-old-self dancing in MC Hammer-style pants. This time they’ll be talking about Blade Runner 2049. Nestling next to them are Aussie star Margot Robbie who appears in AA Milne biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin and Reese Witherspoon, star of romantic comedy Home Again. The music comes from Bananarama.

Friday nights in just got a lot more fun.

SUMMARY

New series. The host welcomes Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, who discuss Blade Runner 2049, a sequel to the cult 1982 sci-fi classic. Graham also chats to actress Margot Robbie, who promotes her new film Goodbye Christopher Robin, and Reese Witherspoon, who will be shedding light on her romantic comedy, Home Again. Plus, veteran girl group Bananarama perform their ’80s hit Cruel Summer.

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Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show 2017

Published Wed, 06 Sep 2017

Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show 2017

Series 15. Saturday 7pm – 8:40pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

So this is when we get a proper introduction to the 15 celebrities who’re hoping to “keeeeep dancing” over the next couple of months. As they attempted to sashay down the red carpet at the launch party, it was obvious that some had already got the hang of twirling their tassels while gyrating their hips (we’re looking at you, Mollie King), whereas a couple, like Brian Conley, were clearly playing the comedy card and a few were wondering why on earth they agreed to do this in the first place.

It’s too late for any second thoughts because this is when they find out who’ll be their professional partner (some of whom will be desperately trying to hide their disappointment when they get lumbered with someone who has two left feet and no sense of rhythm). They’ll also have their first turn on the dance floor in a group number, while the professionals will pay tribute to the late Bruce Forsyth with their opening routine.

Of course, under closest scrutiny will be new judge Shirley “Queen of Latin” Ballas, who has the unenviable task of replacing Len Goodman on the Strictly panel.

SUMMARY

New series. The pro-celebrity ballroom contest returns, with an opening spectacular featuring last year’s champions Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton performing their winning routine, plus music from Shania Twain and Rita Ora. The line-up this year features former Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks alumnus Gemma Atkinson, 2008 X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, TV and radio comedy star Susan Calman, Radio 4 broadcaster the Rev Richard Coles, TV presenter Brian Conley, EastEnders’ Davood Ghadami (Kush Kazemi), Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins and The Saturdays’ singer Mollie King. Also treading the boards are This Morning’s Ruth Langsford, Holby City actor Joe McFadden, JLS’s Aston Merrygold, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, TV chef Simon Rimmer, and Debbie McGee, whose late husband and performing partner Paul Daniels previously took to the dancefloor in 2010. This year, the `Queen of Latin’ Shirley Ballas will be replacing Len Goodman on the judges’ panel, with Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell all returning to appraise the talents of the amateur dancers and their professional partners.

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New Series: Cold Feet

Published Wed, 06 Sep 2017

New Series: Cold Feet

Series 7 – Episode 1. Friday 9pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

After last year’s successful reboot, Mike Bullen’s best-mates-comedy-drama returns with a bizarre musical dream sequence as Adam (James Nesbitt) sings a song in a maternity hospital.

Now he’s nicely settled with his funny and sweet neighbour Tina (Leanne Best), he’s clearly broody and it’s haunting his sleep. But Tina is happy with the way things are, despite Adam’s best efforts to push their relationship to the next level.

It’s good to meet the Manchester mob again – Karen (Hermione Norris) is a successful book publisher, Jen and Pete (Fay Ripley and John Thomson) are looking on the bright side and David (Robert Bathurst) is pulling himself up by his bootstraps, selling pensions to old ladies.

But there are ripples of change and bubbles of discontent; Jen feels pushed out by Tina, while Pete wants more from life than being a chauffeur to his wealthy clients.

SUMMARY

After agreeing to take things slow, Adam and his landlady Tina have rarely been apart over the past 10 months. He is keen to dive into the next phase of their relationship, but will commitment-phobe Tina commit herself? Though struggling to keep a grip on home-life, Karen is set to launch her fledgling publishing house and its debut novel, while disillusioned chauffeur Pete wants to be appreciated at home, but finds wife Jenny distracted by work and the opportunity to rise up the ranks. Comedy drama, starring James Nesbitt, Leanne Best, Hermione Norris, John Thomson, Fay Ripley and Robert Bathurst.

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New Series: Safe House

Published Wed, 06 Sep 2017

New Series: Safe House

Series 2 – Episode 1. Tomorrow 9pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

It’s two years since the first series of Safe House, which returns with a new location and personnel – goodbye Christopher Eccleston, hello True Blood’s Stephen Moyer.

He’s Tom, an ex cop who’s preoccupied by an old case that looks like it’s returned to haunt him. Tom, who with his partner now runs an official police safe house, put the so-called Crow behind bars after three women were abducted and presumed murdered. But another woman goes missing from her home as her bound and gagged husband (Ashley Walters) is forced to watch at gunpoint.

It’s a classic, even weary, crime drama set-up and comes complete with demands for old case files, suggestions of a botched job the first time round and shifty detectives who might or might not have something to hide.

But Safe House has a solid cast, including Zoe Tapper as Tom’s partner Sam and Jason Watkins as the husband of one of the Crow’s victims.

SUMMARY

The drama returns with a new cast, location and story. Former detective Tom Brook hears news of a shocking abduction, convincing him that a killer he once investigated has returned. Despite the investigating officer’s initial doubts, the victim’s family are soon placed under Tom’s protection in the safe house Tom runs as a business with his partner Sam. Thriller, starring Stephen Moyer, Zoe Tapper, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins and Sunetra Sarker.

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