HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK AHEAD
SATURDAY Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2017 (BBC1, 9pm)
THE Royal Albert Hall in London hosts the annual Festival of Remembrance. Huw Edwards narrates the event as the likes of Emeli Sande, Tom Odell, Melanie Chisholm, Alfie Boe and Lesley Garrett take to the iconic stage alongside the Queen’s Colour Squadron and the Royal Marines Band. They will be paying tribute to the men and women who have died in combat since the First World War. The event concludes with the now-iconic poppy petal shower, which sees thousands of poppy petals rain down on the assembled audience – among which sits Her Majesty the Queen – as a symbol of each life lost. Tomorrow morning the annual National Service of Remembrance will take place at the Cenotaph and will be covered by BBC One from 10.20am.
Live Boxing (Channel 5, 9.45pm)
SCOTLAND’S undefeated WBC silver super lightweight champion Josh Taylor is hoping to have a world title fight next year. However, the 26-year-old will have to prove his credentials tonight first when he faces former world champion Miguel Vazquez in front of a passionate home crowd at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre. Vazquez, a former IBF lightweight champion, has won 39 of his 44 fights.
SUNDAY Blue Planet II (BBC1, 8pm)
THE third episode of David Attenborough’s mesmerising series focuses on creatures that live on coral reefs, including groupers, small predators that scientists believe are as intelligent as chimpanzees. These creatures have a remarkable aptitude for communication to the point where they can interact with other species and work together to catch prey. There is also time-lapse photography of coral polyps growing and dying, creating a structure visible from space.
Howards End (BBC1, 9pm)
IT’S 25 years since the film version of EM Forster’s novel was released and made Emma Thompson an international star with an Oscar-winning performance as Margaret Schelgel. It’s a modern classic, but clearly the BBC feels it’s time we were treated to another adaptation. This time Hayley Atwell plays Margaret, the eldest of three Bohemian siblings whose lives seem forever entwined with that of the more confident, headstrong and financially astute Wilcox family. When the ailing Mrs Wilcox leaves her beloved childhood home to her, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change all their lives.
MONDAY Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (BBC2, 7pm)
NEW series. The return of the programme in which famous faces compete in the cross-country bargain-hunting challenge. Hayley Mills and her friend and Wild at Heart co-star Stephen Tompkinson set out on a trip around north-east England in classic cars, receiving expert guidance from Christina Trevanion and David Harper as they visit antique shops and emporiums to find items to sell at an auction in Yorkshire.
Toffs, Queers and Traitors: Guy Burgess: The Charming Spy (BBC4, 9pm)
IN June 1951, the UK government was forced to admit that two Foreign Office diplomats had disappeared. One, Donald Maclean, was about to be questioned over passing secrets to the Russians, but the other, Guy Burgess, had seemingly escaped suspicion, collecting powerful friends – and lovers. Director George Carey explores how Burgess became the most flamboyant member of a ring of privileged Cambridge students who joined the Communists in 1930s, and what his story says about the class system, sexual hypocrisy and sheer incompetence of the British establishment at the time.
TUESDAY Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens (C5, 8pm)
THERE are 8.5 million cats in Britain, with one in five UK households owning a pet moggy. Late last year, Jo Brand presented
one-off documentary Kitten Rescuers. And the self-confessed feline fanatic returns with a six-part series following the vets, RSPCA inspectors and volunteers who work tirelessly to save the nation’s felines from harm. She begins the series on the frontline, reporting for surgery duties at one of the UK’s busiest animal hospitals.
The A Word (BBC1, 9pm)
AS a parent, how do you know if the decisions you make for your child are right? If your child can’t always express his own feelings, how do you even go about making the decisions in the first place? These questions hang over Paul and Alison as Joe starts his first day at a specialist school in Manchester. Also facing an uncertain future is Maurice. Having appointed Ralph as his brewery assistant, he gets it in the neck from Louise, who is adamant her son shouldn’t be working for him. Last week’s Herald Magazine cover star Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby head the cast of Peter Bowker’s sublime drama.
WEDNESDAY Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess of Love (BBC4, 9pm)
BETTANY Hughes uncovers the history of Venus, exploring the goddess’s relationship not only to her Greek counterpart Aphrodite, but also the prehistoric war deities of the Middle East. The presenter discovers that the goddess has been imagined as everything from a bearded, gender-fluid woman to a sinister volcanic rock. But the softer, nude image we’re more familiar with can also stir up strong emotions – as suffragette Mary Richardson proved when she attacked the Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in 1914.
Lifers Behind Bars (C4, 9pm)
WHAT is it like to serve a long-term prison sentence in Britain? Filmed over a year, this two-part documentary follows prisoners, including men convicted of murder and serving mandatory life sentences, from the moment they enter to their release. The programme has unprecedented access to jails including HMP Shotts, Scotland’s only prison exclusively for long-term offenders.
THURSDAY Love, Lies and Records (BBC1, 9pm)
BIRTHS, deaths and marriages – it’s all in a day’s work for registrars. So, no wonder Kay Mellor, the writer who brought us Fat Friends and In the Club, thought a register office would make the perfect setting for a drama series. Ashley Jensen (see this week’s interview on page 6) leads the cast as Kate Dickenson, who is anxious about her colleagues’ reaction to the news that she’s about to be promoted to superintendent.
Handmade in Hull (BBC4, 11pm)
INSPIRED by the work of artist Linda Brothwell, this documentary celebrates the craft traditions of Hull. It finds that the City of Culture is home to a number of craftworkers, including compass-maker Brian Walker, who talks about how his instruments helped steer Hull’s fishing fleet, and potter Gabriel Nichols, who fears the skill may be dying out.
FRIDAY Food Unwrapped: Supermarket Special (C4, 8pm)
IF you feel your supermarket shop has got more expensive over the past year, you’re not alone. The team look into why the prices of some food items have risen so much – and how technology can help you stay ahead of the increases. Jimmy Doherty investigates “shrinkflation”, the phenomenon that sees some top brand products get smaller (something that isn’t necessarily reflected in the price), while Kate Quilton looks at why we could be facing a milk shortage.
Eight Days That Made Rome (C5, 9pm)
BETTANY Hughes focuses on the day in 32BC when Octavian stole the secret will of his most dangerous political rival, Mark Antony. It is a moment that casts a light on what it took to win in Roman politics, as the cunning, brilliant subterfuge required paved Octavian’s path to power by undermining Antony’s popularity and giving Octavian the crucial support of Rome’s Senate and people in the civil war that followed.