TV Highlights TV Highlights

New: The Coronation

Published Fri, 12 Jan 2018

New: The Coronation

Sunday 8pm – 9pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Everyone knows that the Queen never gives interviews. But this is the Modern Monarchy, times have changed, deference isn’t what it was, so why shouldn’t the Queen answer questions put to her by a reporter, in this case Alastair Bruce?

She talks about what is in essence the world’s most glorious, expensive and well-stocked jewellery box, the crown jewels, and their part in her coronation and that of her father.

The Crown Jewels, which form part of the Royal Collection, consist of 140 items containing 23,000 precious stones. The Coronation explores the symbolic role of the crown jewels in the sacred, centuries-old ceremony. At its heart is the stunning St Edward’s Crown, worn by the Queen once, at the moment she was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

After viewing private and official film footage of the occasion, she says, “I’ve seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable.”

SUMMARY

Documentary about the Queen’s coronation in 1953, featuring royal commentator Alastair Bruce’s interview with the monarch, who shares her memories of the ceremony and the state of the nation at the time, as well as reminiscing further back to seeing her father crowned when she was 11. The programme also features contributions from those involved in the ceremony, including a choirboy who sang solo, and traces the history of the crown jewels.

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The Voice UK

Published Fri, 12 Jan 2018

The Voice UK

Series 7 – Episode 2. Tomorrow 8pm – 9:30pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

Although last week’s first episode of the series should have been all about newbie Olly Murs, it was actually returning coach Jennifer Hudson who stole the show. With her impromptu performances, fast quips and even doing a whip-round in the audience to raise money for charity, the episode felt less like The Voice UK and more like The J-Hud Show. Which actually was no bad thing at all.

Tonight the blind auditions continue as the coaches resume their search for talented singers, although whether anyone will be able to make as big an impression as 16-year-old Donel Mangena’s dancing grandma remains to be seen.

SUMMARY

Emma Willis presents the second round of Blind Auditions, as Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs and Tom Jones take their places in the famous spinning chairs once again. As ever, the competitors are invited to step onto the stage and sing to the coaches’ backs, meaning they must judge the performance based on the quality of the voice alone. All four coaches will be pitching against each other to fill their teams ahead of the Battle and Knockout rounds, with the coveted recording contract with Polydor of offer to the ultimate winner.

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New Series: Room 101

Published Fri, 12 Jan 2018

New Series: Room 101

Series 7 – Episode 1. Today 8:30pm – 9pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Charlie Brooker completely floors his fellow guests with his rather broad suggestion that “anything I don’t want to do” should be consigned to the dreaded vault.

“Most things aren’t worth bothering with,” he explains with a totally straight face to Scarlett Moffatt and Pearl Mackie’s obvious horror. “It would have made no difference to the quality of my life if 98 per cent of it hadn’t happened.” He must be an absolute joy to live with – although he is hilarious here and argues his case eloquently.

So will Frank Skinner agree or will he come up with his own reason not to put that idea into Room 101? Among the hated things also up for discussion are haircuts, mosquitos and Crocs – that’s the plastic shoes not the reptiles.

SUMMARY

New series. Frank Skinner returns with the light-hearted panel show in which three celebrities argue the case for having their pet hates banished for ever to the fictional room. In the opening show, the big names with an even bigger axe to grind are satirist Charlie Brooker, presenter Scarlett Moffatt and actress Pearl Mackie. They are only too eager to express their anger over individuals, events and objects that upset them, hoping to curry the host’s favour and see them consigned to oblivion. Their gripes include crocodiles, mosquitoes and having one’s hair cut.

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MOTD Live: The FA Cup – Liverpool v Everton

Published Thu, 04 Jan 2018

MOTD Live: The FA Cup – Liverpool v Everton

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

Liverpool v Everton (Kick-off 7.55pm). Coverage of the third-round fixture at Anfield, as the Merseyside rivals face each other with a place in the fourth round at stake. In one of his first interviews after being appointed Toffees manager, Sam Allardyce made it clear that he believes his new club should be targeting a place in European club competitions, as well as aiming to reach the domestic cup finals, but if he is to deliver on that proclamation in his first season he must first steer his charges past their cross-city rivals.

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New: Al Murray’s Make Christmas Great Again

Published Tue, 19 Dec 2017

New: Al Murray’s Make Christmas Great Again

Friday 9pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

Al Murray’s booming little Englander is on fine form for his Christmas special. The premise is that goodwill is in such short supply that the patriotic pub owner needs to rekindle it, or else Father Christmas (played in slightly surreal interludes by Richard E Grant) will be out of a job. No problem. Al’s barnstorming opening song You Can’t Even Say Christmas Any More has enough Slade-like swing to power a million singalongs.

After that there’s a flurry of mini game shows and bits of business with audience celebs (Liam from Bake Off! Joey Essex! Half of McFly!). But it’s the dabs of Pub Landlord humour that stand out. The Christmas gravy, he insists should be “thick like paint” and the brussels sprouts bitter: “This country did not get great by eating vegetables it liked.”

SUMMARY

Philosopher, common sense commando, scholar, sage and bald bloke The Pub Landlord arranges a lock-in at his majestic pub, The Reindeer’s Head. Backed by his house band the Remoans, the `Guv’ leads some seasonal sing-a-longs, chats to some of his celebrity guest audience and invites members of the public to win some early Christmas presents in two studio games. Somewhat importantly, he also reminds anyone prepared to listen it was the British who `invented’ Christmas.

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Last in Series: Love, Lies & Records

Published Tue, 19 Dec 2017

Last in Series: Love, Lies & Records

Series 1 – Episode 6. Thursday 9pm – 10pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Superintendent registrar Kate Dickenson really feels things, you know. She’s so in touch with her emotions, she’s so genuine, so empathetic, so awful.

Kate (a permanently wet-eyed Ashley Jensen) is compulsively self-absorbed and makes everything about her. Thus she conducts a wedding, but the honeyed words are really aimed at her lover, Rick, the cow-eyed creep who has torpedoed her relationship with her dull partner Rob.

Just when you think Love, Lies & Records can’t get any more barmy, Andrew Flintoff of all people turns up to play a footballer bridegroom. Let’s be kind and say he’s no Michael Gambon.

Love, Lies ends tonight and there is absolutely no need for a second series.

SUMMARY

Rob discovers the photographs Kate had hidden, and before long a series of secrets and lies come tumbling out between the couple. As Kate is forced to face the reality of her choices, her team
at work prepares to set up a sting with immigration to catch Marcia in the act. But with the police back at the register office, she is worried what will happen if Rob and Rick end up in the same room together. Meanwhile, a celebrity wedding is threatened when the bride and groom realise they have forgotten something important. Andrew Flintoff guest stars. Last in the series.

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Last in Series: Peaky Blinders

Published Tue, 19 Dec 2017

Last in Series: Peaky Blinders

Series 4 – Episode 6 – The Company. Tomorrow 9pm – 10pm BBC Two (HD), BBC iPlayer.

“We’ve got a lot going on, though, Tom…” Arthur warned earlier in the series with a degree of understatement as his younger brother decided, for reasons of his own, to get involved with promoting the career of a young gypsy boxer.

But then you never quite know what long game Tommy Shelby is playing, so even as a general strike gathers in his factories and the New York mafia close in to take revenge, the Godfather of Small Heath is taking his place ringside for the big bout between his scrawny fighter and the “Goliath” that Alfie Solomons has put up against him.

It makes for a dramatic set piece that raises the stakes for the series closer. As we watch the fight unfold and the crowds yelling in the packed hall, tension builds like a tightening belt of horror. Arthur snorts cocaine off his fist. The Shelby womenfolk drink gin in the ladies’. And writer Steven Knight prepares to swing his own knockout blow.

SUMMARY

In the final episode of the series, the night of the big fight arrives, and as the bell rings and the crowd goes wild, dangers lurk in the shadows for Tommy Shelby and his family, and Tommy soon discovers who he can truly trust. Meanwhile, as Changretta plays his final ace, he sets in motion a series of events that will change the Peaky Blinders forever. Starring Cillian Murphy, Adrien Brody, Tom Hardy, Helen McCrory, Charlie Murphy, Sophie Rundle, Paul Anderson, Kate Phillips, Ned Dennehy and Jack Rowan. Last in the series.

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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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