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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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World Cup Live: Malta v England

Published Wed, 30 Aug 2017

World Cup Live: Malta v England

Friday 7:15pm – 10pm ITV (HD), ITV Hub.

Gareth Southgate’s men resume their World Cup qualifying duties with what should be a mismatch as they play Malta in Attard (k/o 7.45pm) – yet their opponents put up some stiff resistance at Wembley last October before succumbing 2–0. The Maltese are ranked about 190th in the world and have lost all their Group F qualifiers so far, while England top the standings with 14 points, having won four and drawn two.

Anything other than three points would be unthinkable for England, who face Slovakia at Wembley on Monday. Scotland are in the same group as England and are in action as they travel to Vilnius to take on Lithuania (k/o 7.45pm Sky Football, Sky Main Event). The sides drew 1–1 at Hampden Park in October. Northern Ireland are in San Marino for a Group C match (k/o 7.45pm Sky Mix).

SUMMARY

Malta v England (Kick-off 7.45pm). Mark Pougatch presents coverage of the Group F qualifier from Ta’ Qali National Stadium in Attard. Malta have lost every group match so far, but produced a spirited display in last October’s reverse fixture at Wembley. First-half strikes by Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli gave England a 2-0 win on that occasion, but they will be looking to reward the travelling fans with a more enterprising performance this time around. With analysis by Ian Wright, Ryan Giggs and Paul Ince, and commentary from Clive Tyldesley and Glenn Hoddle.

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Last In Series – Top of the Lake: China Girl

Published Wed, 30 Aug 2017

Last In Series – Top of the Lake: China Girl

Series 2 – The Battle of the Mothers. Tomorrow 9pm – 10pm BBC Two (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Of course it’s an unsatisfactory ending – we’ve sat through six hours of piercing pretention, ridiculous plots (what happened to that fella in the wheelchair, the one who tried to strangle detective Robin and she had to start a fire to escape?), ghastly characters and bleak despair… What else could we expect from Jane Campion but a whimper?

There’s a Big Political Message about the Nature of Motherhood at the end, but as for any proper resolution as to what happened to China Girl… you can forget it. The explanation of her fate is thrown into the wind and disappears very quickly in a blizzard of agitprop and the most ludicrous murder hunt on a crowded Bondi Beach.

SUMMARY

Robin and Pyke are plunged into a nightmare when Miranda reports that someone has been shot dead at Silk 41, where the police are getting nowhere with a grief-stricken Mamasan Dang and the girls, while Mary has been taken hostage by the gunman and taken to Bondi. Robin’s intuition tells her that unless she can discover what Puss’s audacious plan is and stop him, then her daughter – and the possibility of love – may be lost to her for ever. Last in the series.

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One Week To Go! The Great British Bake Off

Published Tue, 22 Aug 2017

One Week To Go!  The Great British Bake Off

Series 8 – Episode 1. Tue 29 Aug 8pm – 9:15pm Channel 4 (HD), All 4.

As the contest changes channels, presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding welcome a new batch of cooks to the tent. They compete in a variety of culinary challenges, hoping to be crowned Britain’s best amateur baker. Contestants create a wide range of sweets and pastry dishes, including cakes, pies and patisserie before returning judge Paul Hollywood and series newcomer Prue Leith cast a critical eye over their efforts.

The series begins with Cake Week, and sees the bakers take on a fruity signature challenge. Next, Prue sets her first technical – a children’s tea party favourite – and everyone is out to impress the new judge. Their final challenge sees the trickiest showstopper ever set in the first week of Bake Off – an illusion cake.

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World Athletics Championships 2017: Day Seven

Published Thu, 10 Aug 2017

World Athletics Championships 2017: Day Seven

Today 8pm – 10pm BBC One (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Gabby Logan presents further coverage of the seventh night at The London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. With Usain Bolt opting not to defend his 200m title, a new champion will be crowned this evening, with Isaac Makwala and Wayde van Niekerk among the favourites. The 400m hurdles final also takes place, with a strong American contingent led by Dalilah Muhammad expected to challenge.

Plus, medals are decided in the men’s triple jump, and places in the women’s 200m final are confirmed. With analysis from Michael Johnson, Colin Jackson and Denise Lewis, and commentary by Steve Cram, Andrew Cotter, Brendan Foster and Steve Backley.

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New Series – Top of the Lake: China Girl

Published Thu, 27 Jul 2017

New Series – Top of the Lake: China Girl

Series 2. Today 9pm – 10pm BBC Two (HD), BBC iPlayer.

Jane Campion’s follow-up – four years on – to Top of the Lake is potentially more divisive than its predecessor. Top of the Lake China Girl is every bit as ponderous, pretentious and frequently baffling… and then some.

But hold on for a terrific performance from an almost unrecognisable Nicole Kidman as the furious, dreadful, self-absorbed adoptive mother of a towering teenage brat Mary (played magnificently by Alice Englert, Jane Campion’s daughter).

The great Elisabeth Moss returns as Detective Robin Griffin, an object of some notoriety when she starts a new job with the police in Sydney, Australia, far away from the horrors of her last case, which haunt her still.

She’s called to Bondi Beach when the body of a young Asian woman is found in a suitcase in a story that encompasses sexual exploitation of women, misogyny and the world’s all-round nastiness.

SUMMARY

New series. Elizabeth Moss returns in this follow-up to Jane Campion’s 2013 crime drama. Detective Robin Griffin is back in Sydney, eager to throw herself into her work, while secretly planning to search for the daughter she gave up for adoption. However, when a suitcase containing the body of a young woman washes up on Bondi Beach, Robin and her new partner Miranda begin an investigation that leads them into the dark side of Sydney’s sex industry – with reverberations they could never have imagined. Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie co-star.

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UEFA Women’s Euro 2017: Portugal v England

Published Thu, 27 Jul 2017

UEFA Women’s Euro 2017: Portugal v England

Today 7:30pm – 10pm Channel 4 (HD), All 4.

With no matches played at the time of going to press, it’s difficult to predict the position the home nations will find themselves in come the final Group D matches – but I’ll have a go. If all’s gone to plan (and that’s a big if), England have the chance to top the group in style with all three points against Portugal (kick-off 7.45pm). If they manage it, they’re likely to meet Group C’s Switzerland or Iceland in the quarter-final (there’s no round of 16), who are both capable of putting up a real fight.

Scotland, on the other hand, might be in trouble; they’re facing Spain (k/o 7.45pm) in what could be the second-place decider. If they do make it out of the groups, it’d be a real achievement – though their reward, if you can call it that, could be lining up against favourites France in the quarter-finals.

SUMMARY

Portugal v England (Kick-off 7.45pm). Coverage of the concluding match in Group D for both sides, which takes place at Koning Willem II Stadion in Tilburg, Netherlands. England’s record in this tournament since the turn of the century leaves a lot to be desired, and while they did finish as runners-up in 2009, at the other tournaments staged in 2001, 2005 and 2013 they failed to progress to the knockout stage on any occasion, and had a combined record of one win, two draws and six losses. Tonight’s match will be followed by highlights of Scotland v Spain. Presented by Clare Balding, with expert analysis from Jermaine Jenas, Eniola Aluko and Kim Little. Coverage of Scotland v Spain is available on More4.

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Love Island: The Live Final

Published Mon, 24 Jul 2017

Love Island: The Live Final

Today 9pm – 10:35pm ITV2 (HD), ITV Hub.

The date of the Love Island final is finally here and it’s going to be live, meaning that the 2017 show, which is the third series of the dating programme, will be the longest series ever at almost two months since its launch on June 5.

The final airs between 9.00pm and 10.35pm on ITV2, where the most compatible couple will be crowned winners. At the end of each series of Love Island the couple with the most votes from the public get the opportunity to walk away £50,000 that is shared between them. In previous years if one of the winning pair opts not to share the money, they get to keep it for themselves, leaving the other with nothing.

However, presenter Caroline Flack revealed that the show’s prize could change this year. “There is £50,000 that they share, actually it might change this year, so…” For most of the series Marcel Somerville and Gabby Allen have been favourites to win, however they’ve recently been pipped to the post by relative newcomers Jamie and Camilla who are now odds-on to take the crown. Here’s a run-down of the latest odds.

Jamie and Camilla 2/1
Kem and Amber 4/5
Chris and Olivia 11/4
Marcel and Gabby 16/1

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