When having a look over the TV schedule for new programmes starting this week I’m going to be honest and say it looks a bit disappointing. There’s a few ongoing shows like Scott and Bailey (ITV1 on Wednesday) and Masterchef (BBC One on Thursday) but nothing really new.
So this week’s picks are a bit of a mixed bag. If there is any television show that we’ve missed out then let us know in the comments below.
We’re nearing the end of Broadchurch, and growing closer to finding out who killed Danny Latimer. The finger of suspicion has pointed at almost every one who lives in the village, but by building the tension instead it made the series feel a bit dragged out. However, there has been some fantastic acting from the whole cast, in particular Olivia Colman.
Watch the penultimate episode on ITV1, Monday at 9pm. Catch up with the rest of the series online using ITV Player.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
8 Out of 10 Cats takeover of Countdown originally happened as part of Channel 4′s Mash Up evening. Now there’s a series which started last week. Again we saw poor Jon Richardson, who loves winning Countdown, had to sit through his fellow comedians bumbling their way through the letters and the numbers game show.
This week on Friday, Channel 4 at 9pm Jimmy Carr will continue to host while Jon Richardson will be joined by actor, Stephen Mangan and they will be competing against Lee Mack and Richard Osman, from Pointless.
Doctor Who continues this weekend on BBC One, Saturday at 6.45pm. The Doctor and Clara arrive at a haunted mansion where a spirit called the Witch of the Well turns out to be more than they expect.
There’s so much television to choose from, but what are the highlights to catch this week?This is TV Talk’s glance at what the small screen has to offer.
Get your game show on
Davina McCall has perfected her game show presenting skills on The Million Pound Drop Live. She’s able to seamlessly go from sympathy to excitement. Her latest game show is Five Minutes to a Fortune where contestants need to complete five challenges in five minutes. At the same time an hourglass filled with cash starts to drain away.
The series starts on Monday, April 8th and is on every weekday afternoon on Channel 4 at 5pm.
Fans of game shows might like to know that ITV have resurrected Catchphrase. The show is very similar to when Roy Walker presented it, including it’s retro-looking set, but there’s no Roy Walker. Stephen Mulhern doesn’t have the same charm, but guessing the catchphrases is enjoyable. Perfect viewing for 6.45pm on a Sunday on ITV.
This two part programme, on Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm, sounds very quaint but as a nation we do love tea. As well as discovering the origins of the drink Victoria Wood also chats to actor Matt Smith about the Time Lord’s love of tea.
Speaking of The Doctor, his show is also back on this weekend. Admittedly it isn’t really one to forget, although the BBC have started to play with the time it starts. This Saturday it’s on at 6pm on BBC One and sees The Doctor and Clara landing on a damaged Russian submarine. Not only is the submarine spiralling out of control but an alien creature is on the loose.
Channel 4 comedy shows The Mimic and Anna & Katy finish this week. They’ve been great series, so watch them on 4OD before they go. Catch the final episodes on Channel 4 at Wednesday 10pm for The Mimic and 10.35pm for Anna & Katy.
Finally Channel 4 return to their Big Fat Gypsy series on Sunday, April 14th at 9pm. My Big Fat Gypsy Fortune will reveal how the Gypsy and Traveller communities manage to afford their lavish weddings.
Many have said that the Great British Sewing Bee is basically the Great British Bake Off, with dresses instead of cake. Yes, there are challenges where the contestants have to make something. Yes, both television shows focus on hobbies that you would associate with the WI. And yes, both shows have wacky presenters with a well-groomed male judge and an experienced female judge. But this is where the comparisons stop, just for the sake of judging this show on its own merit.
All the contestants have their own reason for sewing and making their clothes. Some started sewing at an early age; another one makes his own Steampunk Victorian costumes. Altogether a nice variety of people showcasing all sorts of ways to be crafty.
The judges are May Martin, a sewing teacher from the WI, and Savile Row’s Patrick Grant. A single scowl across the room can determine who has slipped a stitch yet they give their advice in a helpful way.
The beginning of the competition was a chance for the judges to see how well the contestants knew the basics of sewing. The contestants had to make an A-line skirt, alter a neck line and create their own dresses. Written down that does look like the dullest show ever, or perhaps a reminder of the textiles syllabus you always ignored. However, all eight contestants treated the challenges differently and by the end of the day there were 24 unique items of clothing.
Watching programmes like this — whether it be DIY or cookery shows — you get the sense that you could do that too. Look they’re only sewing two pieces of material together, what’s all the fuss? The show tries to push this sense that you should shun ‘off the peg’ clothing too. The contestants and the judges all talk about how satisfying it is to wear something that is one-off and that you made with your own hands. In addition the show gives the audience their own challenge, this week a laundry bag, so we can join in too. And this is where the show disappointed me.
Sewing is hard. If you will excuse a quick mention of Bake Off, if it inspires you to make a cake and you manage to make it look disgusting then it doesn’t really matter. The chances are the cake will still taste nice, so it isn’t too bad.
If you make a dress then it could be disastrous and make you look like some kind of sack lady. At points the show mentions that if you are a beginner then follow a pattern and you will be fine. Another word of advice is to just tinker with a sewing machine to get the hang of sewing. These aren’t things that will just be hanging around the house. On top of that the design for the laundry bag isn’t even on the Great British Sewing Bee website. Meaning all you have to work with is a speedy demonstration that was on the show.
The contestants are all lovely though. Predominantly they are Mums so when something goes wrong they manage to cope in the way that only Mums can — they laugh it off. Even when a contestant gets eliminated no one presumed that they were safe. So it’s reassuring that nice people are still allowed on television.
Overall, the show is somehow spellbinding. But if you actually want to learn how to sew then this programme has missed out the basics.
It has always been the way, when one television series ends there is another shinier one to replace it. This is a collection of new and interesting television shows on this week, starting from Tuesday 2nd April.
Great British Sewing Bee
We’re a country that likes to make things, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry led the way with baking but now there is a new skill to learn. Claudia Winkleman, alongside judges from the Women’s Institute and Savile Row, are looking for the nation’s best amateur sewer in the Great British Sewing Bee, BBC Two, Tuesday at 8pm
Drama and comedy
A new series of the detective drama Scott and Bailey begins on Wednesday, ITV1 at 9pm. There’s no messing around for them as they discover a severed head.
James May’s Man Lab actually returned last Thursday, BBC Two at 8pm, but it’s a fun series so deserves a mention. This week James competes in the Rock Paper Scissors World Championships.
Comedy series Not Going Out returns on Friday, BBC One 9.30pm, for series six. Significantly this is the first series without Tim Vine, but the rest of the cast are strong so the show should still be good.
Last weekend The Doctor found the intriguing Clara Oswin Oswald again making her a proper companion now. The next episode, called The Rings of Akhaten is on BBC One at 6.15 and The Doctor takes Clara to the Festival of Offerings, with some consequences.
Bank Holiday television is nearly always rubbish. In amongst it there is some decent programming, this Easter weekend has seen the return of Doctor Who and a Jonathan Creek special, but it’s largely rubbish.
It’s almost like daytime television, but even they get the Bank Holidays off. There’s no Loose Women or This Morning. Instead it’s repeats of programmes that you don’t really remember watching the first time round. This is how I stumbled across the bland offering of Cornwall with Caroline Quentin on ITV.
The actress is our tour guide through Cornwall, visiting some of the most picturesque parts of the county, recounting the history and meeting the locals. Admittedly Cornwall is very pretty in the show and Quentin is nothing but an interesting presenter. However, you find yourself asking why she is telling us about Cornwall. And it’s all the places everyone has visited because nearly everybody has visited Cornwall at least once.
The next programme on ITV is Ade in Britain. Actor Ade Edmondson is more ambitious than Quentin as he is touring of Britain. In this particular episode he is walking round Wales. Again Wales is pretty, Edmondson can walk and talk to a camera but why is this on television?
Glancing at the schedule I notice that the very same style of programme is on again on ITV this Bank Holiday Monday. James Nesbitt is exploring Ireland in James Nesbitt’s Ireland. At least this one makes a bit sense as Nesbitt is Irish.
Making these television programmes must have been fun, filming for a few days in beautiful tourist areas showcasing why people like to visit these pretty places. Although sometimes you might have to walk up a bit of a steep hill to get a better view. However, watching them is dull. The presenters are all a bit too enthusiastic yet have nothing to add as they aren’t knowledgeable about the area.
Instead the shows feel like quaint, background television. You can turn away, make a cup of tea and look back and there will still be a pretty view. Seeing as most of the shows are visiting places that people will have visited they also serve as nice reminders of previous holidays, or maybe even a gentle nudge that you should be outside this Easter and not watching the television.
I have another suggestion though, maybe these actors should be in interesting dramas and comedies this Bank Holiday instead.
The weekend gave Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor a scare as the shows became Halloween themed for one night only. But what scary treats are in store for the nightmarish evening itself?
It isn’t an event unless Channel 4 are showing a special edition of Come Dine With Me. Four famous faces will be playing Halloween host at 8pm on Wednesday, including the original Freddy Krueger Robert Englund and psychic medium Sally Morgan.
Later at 11.10pm Channel 4 will delve into Mary Shelley’s book with Frankenstein: A Modern Myth. The film looks at the different adaptations of this story focusing on the Danny Boyle National Theatre production where Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch swapped which role they played each night.
For intellectual horror then tune into BBC4 at 9pm for Guts: The Strange and Wonderful World of the Human Stomach. The scientific documentary goes for a trip through the digestive system and finds out about medical developments have been discovered to help people with serious stomach and bowel disorders.
If you missed the Derren Brown’s Apocalypse on Friday then 4Seven are repeating the show at 10pm. This series Derren is using his skills to make one man believe that a meteor strike has devastated the planet and there are only a few survivors left on Earth. Of course this is all to make the lucky chap realise that there is more to life and to appreciate what he has. Another television treat for tonight is the Great British Ghosts Halloween Special which is on Yesterday at 11pm. Presenter Michaela Strachan heads to what is believed to be the most haunted house in the UK.
There are of course a few freaky films on tonight as well. At 11.50pm 5USA are showing Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Film4 have a series of spooky watches tonight such as The Sixth Sense at 9pm and Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In at 1.20am. And ITV2 are showing the scariest film of the night, Hannibal, at 11.45pm.
Hands down Channel 4 have won the category for most bizarre show of the year with Hotel GB. On paper the show is just another attempt from the channel to help out Britain’s unemployed as 12 trainees are given the chance to work in a real hotel and maybe get a permanent job out of the experience.
However, Hotel GB is no ordinary hotel. Every department is headed up by a Channel 4 celebrity. Dr Christian Jessen from Embarrassing Bodies is the gym manager, Kim Woodburn from How Clean is Your House is the hotel’s cleaner and Gok Wan is behind the bar. Other positions of responsibility in the hotel have been given to Phil Spencer, Kirstie Allsopp, Hilary Devey, Katie Piper and Jimmy Carr.
If that not is enough name dropping for you then you will be glad to know the hotel managers are Mary Portas and Gordon Ramsay. Oh, and celebrities have also been staying at the hotel too.
On top of all this the show is also a competition to see whether hospitality or the kitchen will earn the most money therefore winning the show. It is also an exercise at giving money to charity as every penny earned throughout the show is going to The Prince’s Trust and Springboard.
That’s a lot for a mere week of television. Yet somehow I have really enjoyed watching the show. Just as you get bored with Gordon Ramsay shouting at some poor soul in the kitchen the show starts following Kirstie Allsopp and Gok Wan planning a surprise wedding for some of the guests. Unfortunately the celebrities tend to get more attention than any of the trainees. I can’t remember any of the trainees’ names so I am just reduced to remembering who they are by listing everything they have done in the show.
I think sometimes the trainees realise the show format is neglecting them a bit too as they sometimes have nothing to do and all that earns them is a glare and a telling off from a television presenter. And as only two will get a job at the end of the week it feels like the show is nothing more than a gesture to help unemployed people out, especially as in the UK over one million young people are without a job.
This year Channel 4 have liked helping unemployed people out, with Mary Portas starting a knicker factory and Gordon Ramsay’s attempt to rehabilitate prisoners by teaching them to bake. In some cases at Hotel GB the celebrity mentor figure works Katie Piper who is known for having her face rebuilt after an acid attack, is professional and good at training up her beauty therapy assistant. On the other hand Phil Spencer, from Location, Location, Location, is learning how to be a maître d’ on the job, as well as teaching others how to be waiters.
A lot more work has clearly gone into the show that the audience sees on-screen, but with relatively little time for preparation the hotel is working, and working well. The only real disasters have been a slow receptionist, someone in the restaurant getting champagne accidentally poured over them and one trainee leaving before the hotel had even officially opened.
Paddy McGuinness is presenting the evening recaps and has actually been really enjoyable to watch. His jokey approach has set the tone of the show quite well, with a sort of “no one knows what is really happening but we’ll appreciate it” approach.
Sadly though, once the Hotel GB doors have closed I can’t imagine them opening up again. Unless it creates a new variety of similar shows. Nick Hewer from Countdown and Channel 4 News anchorman Jon Snow could run a newspaper for a week. Jon Snow can do the journalism side and Nick Hewer can do the numbers. Alternatively Noel Edmonds and Kevin McCloud could open a call centre together. Kevin McCloud is good at organising people on building sites and Noel Edmonds has a lot of experience in answering the phone. The opportunities are endless.
Since Red Dwarf disappeared off our screens fans have been teased with talk of a movie which sadly never happened. Thankfully the television channel Dave came to the rescue when they started repeating the series and created a whole new group of Red Dwarf fans. They tested the water back in 2009 with a Red Dwarf special called Back to Earth but tonight sees the series return properly.
So to mark the triumphant return of Red Dwarf and to get ready for what to expect in the new series here are the top ten Red Dwarf moments.
The Arnold Rimmer experience
Rimmer left behind his fellow Red Dwarf colleagues to follow the work of his parallel self. In truth Chris Barrie partially left the series to work on other projects, namely The Brittas Empire. Unusually Lister found himself missing Rimmer, so Kryten helped out by building the Arnold Rimmer Experience complete with its own song.
The Red Dwarf crew clearly aren’t adverse to having a sing and a dance. Cat dreamt that when he was around women he became tongue-tied and he expressed his emotions through the medium of song.
Gunmen of the Apocalypse
Who would have thought that the Red Dwarf crew entering a computer simulation of the Wild West only to end up facing the four horsemen of the Apocalypse would end up winning an International Emmy Award? Well it did. And it is one of the best episodes of the series ever.
Smoke me a kipper
The Rimmer we know is arrogant and miserable, but Rimmer in a parallel universe is Ace. Ace Rimmer to be exact. The seemingly perfect Ace is modest, popular, a bit of a daredevil and also fond of wearing his gold, fur-lined suits. He also has his own catchphrase “Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast”. What a guy.
Kryten becomes human
When visiting a strange spaceship Cat accidentally pressed some buttons that he shouldn’t have and Kryten was converted from mechanoid to human.
Although he thought he would enjoy the freedom of being a real boy in fact he was disappointed that his nipples could pick up radio stations, his eyes had no zoom function and he was attracted to electrical appliances. So he decided it was best to go back to being a mechanoid again.
Cat is a cat, therefore he likes fish. He also enjoys the benefits of a speaking spaceship only too happy to supply him with fish.
Lister, Cat and Kryten visit a research centre filled with a holo-virus. Once back on board Red Dwarf Rimmer decides to throw them into quarantine for three months.
However, Rimmer ends up contracting the holo-virus and turns against the rest of the crew while wearing a red and white checked gingham dress and with the help of glove puppet called Mr Flibble.
Kryten learning to lie
Kryten is programmed to tell the truth and to help people. However, after spending enough time with Lister he is soon being taught how to lie and told to start calling people smegheads.
Holly is the ship’s computer who has an IQ of 6000. But with such a high IQ Holly gets bored. A great example of his boredom was when another computer called Queeg won control of Red Dwarf from Holly through a game of chess. However, turns out that Queeg was Holly all along, in his self-proclaimed “jape of the decade”.
Kicking Death where it hurts
When the series was last on screens, which was 1999, it ended on a cliffhanger. Rimmer was about to die, again, and as the dramatic music built up it looked as if the series was going to have a sad ending. Instead Rimmer kicked Death in the balls.
Watch these classic Red Dwarf moments in our YouTube playlist below.
I have a horrible, terrible confession. I feel dirty even saying it but this year I have been just a tiny bit…wooed by Celebrity Big Brother. There, I said it, so excuse me while I take a cold shower.
Having never watched more than a couple of atrocious episodes, I was firmly of the opinion that Big Brother should have been axed long ago. And in fact, I still am. After this series it should bow out as gracefully as it can given that it’s Big Brother. It’s a very tired and dull format and usually takes advantage of desperate and unstable people. Worse than that, it’s insanely boring.
But that was until Julian Clary was installed in the house. I accidentally turned over and found myself viewing a repeat of one of the early episodes, where I recognised the deliciously beautiful Samantha Brick aboard a kiddy slot machine ride and Julian Clary, who was bobbing about in a swan boat, discussing, amongst other things, the plucking of facial hair with Julie Goodyear.
And in that instant I realised I couldn’t switch over. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch regularly but I now feel that if I catch the odd repeat then that doesn’t automatically make me a bad person. Julian is already my winner and always makes me smile.
Shy and retiring Julian
I always liked him and his humour but expected him to be prickly and a little cold in everyday life. In fact he comes across really well, popular with most housemates and actually rather sweet and kind. He’s still hilariously cutting – primarily regarding The Situation who he’s rebranded The Occasional Table – but this is mostly confined to the Diary Room and comes across as teasing, rather than full-on bitchy.
Julian’s typically innuendo filled bedtime story task, resulting in him being allowed to see his beloved dogs Albert and Valerie in the diary room was another touching moment. ‘Excuse me while I blow a raspberry on Albert’s inner thigh. Please avert your eyes,’ said Julian, causing amusement to the watching housemates.
All the hoo-ha with the supposed love triangle between reality tv ‘stars’ and z-list models who get bought expensive presents from strange men holds little appeal for me and nor do the evictions – if Julian was to get voted out, then I would stop watching. I am sick to death of them accusing eachother of being ‘fake’. The only person who seems to be being two-faced in my opinion is Julie Goodyear. I wouldn’t mind her leaving for her nasty behaviour towards the lovely Coleen Nolan.
I know some people like all this ‘drama’ but I’d be very happy for it all to stay light-hearted, fun and frothy. I don’t need any fighting and nastiness. I just need more Julian in my life.
In the build up to the new series of Doctor Who starting at the weekend, the BBC have launched a mini series called Pond Life to get people even more excited about their return.
This week there will be a new short episode released every day at noon. The series is supposed to show what the Ponds, Amy and Rory, as well as the Doctor have been getting up to while they haven’t been on our screens.
So this is Monday’s episode.
Tuesday’s episode sees The Doctor burst in on Amy and Rory in the bedroom.
Wednesday’s episode sees a friendly alien invasion taking place in the Pond’s home.
Thursday’s episode shows that Amy and Rory are still living with an Ood.
Friday is the final episode before the new series of Doctor Who starts on Saturday night, and sees Amy and Rory facing some problems.