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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

The TVweek: Sunday 13th - Friday 18th December 2020

 Sunday

8.10pm Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing BBC Two - Bob Mortimer returns to his childhood roots in Middlesbrough to fish the River Esk and Tees with his friend and angling mentor Paul Whitehouse. As well as trying to catch the glorious grayling, Bob is also going to try to ignite the joy of Christmas in Paul, who thinks the magic of the season has been long lost to commercialism.

9.00pm Small Axe: Education BBC One - When 12-year-old Kingsley is transferred to a special-needs school, a group of West Indian women uncover an unofficial segregation policy preventing many black children from receiving the education they deserve. Co-writer/director Steve McQueen's drama, starring Kenyah Sandy and Sharlene Whyte.

9.00pm Des O'Connor: The Ultimate Entertainer ITV - A tribute to the longest-serving prime time TV host of all time, who topped theatre bills globally, including more than a thousand solo appearances at the London Palladium. And despite much mockery from Morecambe and Wise, he released 36 chart-topping albums. The programme tells how Des O'Connor went from Butlins Redcoat to become the ultimate entertainer, and features contributions from celebrity friends and admirers including Jonathan Ross, Jay Leno, Melanie Sykes, Bradley Walsh, Joe Pasquale, Alan Davies, Elaine Paige and Cliff Richard.

9.10pm The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan BBC Two - The comedian visits the Hebrides to find out if you can have a proper adventure so close to home, spending a week exploring the Islands of Skye, Harris and Lewis. Guiding Romesh through the journey is Donald MacSween, a local crofter from the far North of Lewis - a place that lies as far north as Greenland.

Monday

9.00pm The Real Full Monty: On Ice ITV -  Ashley Banjo takes on his toughest challenge yet as he prepares celebrities to recreate the striptease scene from the film on a skating rink to highlight the importance of checking the body for signs of cancer. Rehearsals started back in September for this Christmas spectacular, with half of the participants having never skated before and the country in the midst of a pandemic. Concludes Tomorrow at 9.00pm

Tuesday

9.00pm Inside KFC: The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop Channel 4 - Behind-the-scenes at the fast-food chain in the run-up to Christmas, as a brand new festive burger is launched in a bid to keep regular customers coming back during lockdown. The programme follows the daily struggles of the franchise owners keeping their businesses going against all odds, and the staff pulling out all the stops to end the year as a success.

9.00pm Christmas at Hampton Court Five - Behind the scenes at royal Christmas celebrations past and present. Chief Curator Tracy Borman explores traditions that date back to the reign of Henry VIII, from blessing the giant shire horses to bringing in the mistletoe from the Home Park. The programme reveals how traditional greenery is still brought in to decorate the palace, just as it would have been in Tudor times, and reveals the carol service that takes place in the Chapel Royal.

9.00pm Transplant Sky Witness - Canadian medical drama. A doctor from Syria becomes a refugee when he flees his war-torn homeland to start a new life in Canada.

Notable Continuing Series: Industry, 9.15pm, BBC Two

10.00pm The Year That Changed Love Channel 4 - Documentary exploring the impact of Covid-19 on people's love lives, from the story of two Edinburgh residents who chose to go into isolation together after just one date, to a separated couple who found themselves willing to give things another try when in lockdown together with their son. The programme explores how the use of dating apps escalated as lockdown began, and features personal stories of people embracing Zoom romance and socially distanced dates.

Wednesday

7.30pm Vicky McClure's Dementia Choir at Christmas BBC One - Just over two years ago, Vicky McClure took to the stage at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham with her choir of people all living with dementia to perform in front of 2000 people. Now, this heart-warming programme tells the story of Vicky dementia choir through the Covid-19 lockdown, leading up to a very special Christmas performance for one choir member.

9.00pm Gordon, Gino & Fred: Desperately Seeking Santa.ITV - After last year's trip to the unlikely festive destination of Morocco, Gordon Ramsay is determined to celebrate Christmas properly this year, arranging a trip to the ultimate winter wonderland of Lapland. Gino D'Acampo has a letter he wants to hand deliver to Santa from his daughter Mia, Fred is keen to witness the once-in-a-lifetime wonder of the Northern Lights and Gordon is eager that they all encounter the culinary delights of the country. But along the way, they face plenty of distractions, including ice swimming, saunas, snowmobiles and snowballing.

9.00pm Christmas at Highclere Castle Channel 4 - a behind-the-scenes look at life in Highclere Castle - the setting of the popular television series and film Downton Abbey - as they deck their halls and prepare to celebrate Christmas in their own unique way. The programme follows the small team of dedicated staff who are tasked with creating seasonal cheer in the castle, as they race to get everything prepared in time to welcome small groups of guests for guided tours and tea, as well as a virtual gin cocktail party hosted by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

9.00pm The Vanishing of Suzy Lamplugh Five - Documentary looking into the case surrounding Suzy Lamplugh's disappearance in 1986, tracing the dramatic twists and turns of the case across more than three decades. The programme explores what went wrong with the original investigation, and also draws upon the police's reinvestigation of the case, and follows the emergence of a prime suspect in Suzy's murder.

Thursday

9.00pm The Savoy at Christmas ITV - Documentary following life in the glamorous London hotel over the festive season, as staff prepare to welcome guests during the hotel's most profitable time of the year. Head butler Sean braces new recruit Michael for how busy he is going to be, while restaurant director Anne prepares the four restaurants and her 160 staff. Cameras also follow regular guest Howell Harris as he spends his first Christmas at the hotel since his mother died, with staff going above and beyond to make sure he has a holiday to remember.

9.00pm Inside Lidl at Christmas Five - With Britain facing its toughest December in memory, this programme goes behind the doors of the budget supermarket to find out how it is preparing for Christmas - and how it keeps its prices down. The Wynne family put Lidl through its paces by trying out its turkey and trimmings, there's a Christmas pudding taste test and a look at the store's decorations and random gifts.

Friday

George Clarke's Amazing Spaces Channel 4 - For many the dream of having a bolt hole or a place to escape from their hectic lives can seem unobtainable. In this series, architect George Clarke shows how such big dreams can be achieved in small and affordable places.

9.00pm Cruising with Jane MacDonald Five - The singer recalls two festive cruises in an edition featuring previously unseen footage. She starts on the SS Antoinette, travelling up the Rhine, then visits some of the world's best Christmas markets sampling traditional food and drink and getting to grips with unique customs. The Wakefield wonder then goes in search for a Nordic Crimbo on board the Norwegian institution the Coastal Express. Starting in Bergen, Jane feasts her eyes on the world's largest Gingerbread City then continues her cruise to visit Scandinavia's biggest natural aquarium for an encounter with a swimming Santa.

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