The TVWEEK: Saturday 31st December 2011 – Friday 6th January 2012

by | Dec 21, 2011 | All, TV Week


9.00pm It’ll Be Alright on the Night ITV – Griff Rhys Jones hosts more TV outtakes.

9.00pm Alan Carr’s New Year Channel 4 – Alan Carr has been left in charge of Channel 4 HQ and is set to throw a New Year’s Eve party to remember. Alan is joined by guests including Jonathan Ross, Micky Flanagan, Melanie Sykes, Gok Wan, Kirstie Allsopp, Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli, Heston Blumenthal, Olly Murs, Paddy McGuinness, Rachel Riley and Shelley von Strunckel. There are sketches, entertaining games, and music from JLS and The Ting Tings.


New Year’s Day

7.00pm Come Dine With Me Channel 4 – New Episode from Northern Ireland

7.00pm Treasure Island Sky1 – 2-part family drama starring Eddie Izzard and Philip Glenister.

8.00pm Great Barrier Reef BBC2 – Monty Hall explores Australia’s reef. The first film examines the complex structure of the coral reef itself and the wildlife that lives on it. So vast it is visible from space, the reef is actually built by tiny animals in partnership with microscopic plants. It is a place full of surprises, always changing, responding to the rhythms of weather, tide, sun and moon.

8.00pm The Hotel Channel 4 – The Hotel returns with a new seaside location, new staff and  new guests In this first episode, Faye and Mike from Dudley come to the hotel to get married. Faye has high expectations for her big day, but on the big day all is far from calm. The mother-of-the-bride’s room is double booked, staff call in sick, the bride threatens to call the whole thing off and the groom heads for the bar.

8.10pm Sherlock BBC1 – Second series of the contemporary  take on the books by Arthur Conan Doyle.A case of blackmail threatens to topple the monarchy itself, but soon Sherlock and John discover there is even more to it than that. They find themselves battling international terrorism, rogue CIA agents, and a secret conspiracy involving the British government. But this case will cast a longer shadow on their lives than they could ever imagine, as the great detective begins a long duel of wits with an antagonist as cold and ruthless and brilliant as himself:

9.00pm A History of Ancient Britain Special BBC2 – Neil Oliver explores a newly-discovered 5,000-year-old temple on Orkney. Built 500 years before the iconic monument of Stonehenge, the temple is opening new windows onto the beliefs of Neolithic people, turning the map of ancient Britain upside down.

9.40pm Absolutely Fabulous BBC1 – Second new episode of the comedy that sees a new client test Edina’s relationship with Saffy.

10.00pm Hacks Channel 4 – A satirical swipe at the recent momentous events surrounding the British newspaper industry. Set in a fictional paper, the drive to get the story is intense. Phone hacking, blagging, pinging… the staff here do it all. But it’s all about to unravel and in a big way… Starring Alexander Armstrong, Claire Foy, Michael Kitchen, Russ Abbott, Celia Imrie and Phil Davies.


9.00am Wanted Down Under BBC1 – New series of the programme that sends families down under to try living in Australia for a week.

11.30am Britain’s Empty Homes BBC1 – Joe Crowley presents the series revealing the potential that vacant properties can offer potential buyers. Joe meets Michael Donald and his partner Ros Havard, who have just purchased an empty metal waste warehouse in picturesque Shropshire.

6.30pm Great British Railway Journeys BBC2 – Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw’s Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw’s Britain remains.

6.30pm The Channel 4 Mash Up Channel 4 – Celebration of 30 years of Channel 4 that sees Channel 4 personalities pushed out of their comfort zones as they swap jobs with each other. Davina McCall plays The Million Pound Drop as Phil Spencer steps into her hosting shoes, Chelsea’s finest compete at Come Dine with Me, Kirstie Allsopp teaches Alan Carr to host Location, Location, Location, the Channel 4 News presenters head for River Cottage, and Jimmy Carr hosts Countdown.

8.30pm An Island Parish BBC2 – Series following a year in the life of the most southerly islands of the Outer Hebrides, off the north-west coast of Scotland. One year into the job and local parish priest Father John Paul has to face up to controversial issues threatening the future of his island parish.  

8.30pm Cornwall ITV – Caroline Quentin presents a new series which sees her travelling the length and breadth of Cornwall. She hears stories about life in some of the most picturesque towns and villages and meets a collection of colourful characters who play a big part in the region’s communities. In this episode, the Lindo family welcome tourists in through the gates of the Camel Valley Vineyards, surfing chef Matt Corner cooks up a crab and lobster barbeque on the beach for his family, and Caroline drops in on the women who run an exclusive holiday lettings company and looks around the latest lavish property to come onto their books. 

9.00pm Armando’s Tale of Charles Dickens BBC2 – Armando Iannucci examines the work of Charles Dickens to discover why he is such a significant writer and a master story-teller, rather than simply being regarded as the world’s most popular novelist. Armando studies the language of David Copperfield, and explores Dickens’s use of comedy to reveal the emotional truth behind his characters, with the help of comedians Barry Cryer and Phill Jupitus. 

9.00pm Endeavour ITV – Prequel to Inspector Morse starring Shaun Evans in the iconic role made famous by John Thaw. The episode is set in 1965 and sees the young disillusioned detective returning to Oxford to investigate the disappearance of a schoolgirl.

9.00pm Obese: A Year to Save My Life Sky1 – Cameras catch the highs and lows over the course of a year as nine dangerously overweight individuals try to shed the pounds before it’s too late 

10.00pm The Bank Job Channel 4 – Week-long, live game show that gives players the chance to pull off the ultimate heist. Over five consecutive nights contestants will battle it out from a real bank in London, in the hope of winning a place in Saturday’s grand finale where someone will walk away with a life-changing fortune. Each evening four rivals will enter a bank vault filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds to play a high jeopardy, competitive game of knowledge, judgement and luck. Hosted by George Lamb.


7.00pm Celebrity Mastermind BBC1 – Chef Michel Roux Jr, actress Jessica Hynes, Politics Show presenter Jon Sopel and Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon try their luck answering questions on Auguste Escoffier’s Guide to Modern Cooking, Pam Ayres, Tony Blair and the sitcom Frasier.

7.00pm Got to Dance Sky1 – Dance competition hosted by Davina McCall.

7.30pm River Monsters ITV – New series of the show in which biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade searches for some of the world’s most terrifying fish. In this episode, he travels to Papua New Guinea to investigate a spate of bizarre deaths on the Sepik River.

8.00pm Weird Nature BBC2 – Series that explores the bizarre things that happen that appear to defy the laws of nature, and leave witnesses and experts alike mystified, confused and often frightened. Exploding toads, birds dying in mid-air, blood-red rain, caterpillars cocooning cars… what on earth is going on? We investigate the world’s very weirdest natural events, and get the first-hand accounts, footage and photographs from the people who were there. We ask the experts to try and unravel the science behind these phenomena and explain the biological background.  

8.00pm Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ITV

8.00pm The Body Shop Channel 4 – Series that goes inside the cool, crazy world of fanatical personal trainers in one of London’s most extraordinary gyms. In each programme the personal trainers take on new recruits – men and women who feel that this is their last chance to change their bodies for the better.

8.00pm The Biggest Loser USA Sky Living – American version of the weight loss competition.

9.00pm Public Enemies BBC1 – Three-part drama exploring the relationship between a convicted murderer and his probation officer. Starring Daniel Mays and Anna Friel. Eddie Mottram is leaving prison, having served his sentence for murder. But has he learned his lesson, and is he safe to release back into the community? Probation officer Paula Radnor is tasked with managing Eddie as he settles back into life on the outside. Continues Wednesday, Concludes Thursday.

9.00pm King George and Queen Mary: The Royals who rescued the Monarchy BBC2 –  Two-part portrait of Elizabeth II’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, which examines the lasting legacy of the couple who rescued the monarchy from potential disaster, and whose influence persists to this day. Episode one focuses on King George V. George could not have been a more unlikely moderniser. Concludes tomorrow.

9.00pm The Biggest Loser ITV – Second series of the weight loss competition hosted by Davina McCall.

9.00pm Accused: The 74stone Babysitter Channel 4 – The story of one of the most incredible murder trials America has witnessed. On 18 March 2008 a two-year-old boy was beaten to death in a Texan border town. His aunt, Mayra Rosales, was the only one with him at the time and was charged with his murder. But was this really possible? Mayra weighed nearly 500 kg, was bed-ridden and totally immobile. So why was she confessing to a heinous crime she seemingly could not have committed? This incredible film follows the many twists and turns in the case with intimate interviews with Mayra, her family and the investigators, lawyers and doctors involved.

9.00pm The Story of Musicals BBC4 – Series which tells how the British musical became a driving force behind musical theatre around the world – a tale of titanic shows, phenomenal daring, epic rivalries, prodigious talent and gargantuan fortunes, all set in just a single square mile. The first episode looks at how, from unpromising beginnings just after the Second World War, British musicals went on to reclaim the West End from American domination.

11.05pm Milton Jones’ House of Rooms Channel 4 – Sitcom from Milton Jones. Milton and his mother live together in a big, old house, renting out their spare rooms to a variety of tenants including Alice, a shy, tongue-tied girl who can’t quite communicate with Milton, who’s equally awkward in her presence. When new tenant Paul arrives, he seems to hit it off with Alice right away, forcing Milton to up his game and try to compete for her attention.


8.00pm Countryfile BBC1 – Adam Henson takes a look back through the Countryfile archives from his farm in the Cotswolds, exploring the farming seasons with the help of the rest of the Countryfile team.

8.00pm Cook Like Heston Channel 4 – Heston Blumenthal steps into a domestic kitchen to show viewers how to inject a good dose of Heston-style magic into homemade food. In the first episode Heston challenges us with the way in which we cook beef. He confronts the biggest culinary myth of all time: searing a steak doesn’t keep in any juices! The secret to success is his scientific but super-simple flipping technique.

8.30pm The Fabulous Baker Boys Channel 4 – Series following bothers Tom, a baker, and Henry, a chef who runs the local butcher’s shop, next door to Tom’s bakery, in the heart of Gloucestershire. With five generations of baking tradition behind them, Tom and Henry take viewers into the heat of the artisan kitchen and unlock the trade secrets of baking, which have been honed through years of practice and passion. And there won’t be a cupcake in sight.

9.00pm One Born Every Minute Channel 4 – Third series of the documentary series that places cameras in a maternity ward.

9.00pm Bigger than Beyonce Sky Living – Showbiz spin on the weight-loss genre with this new series following ordinary women as they slim down and style up to look like their idols. First up: Beyonce.


8.00pm Location, Location, Location Channel 4

8.00pm Ice Hotel Five – Documentary looking at the unique hotel in the little village of Jukkasjarvi in northern Lapland, Sweden. The hotel needs to be rebuilt every winter, as it consists of snow and ice.

9.00pm Meet Britain’s Chinese Tiger Mums BBC2

9.00pm The Restoration Man Channel 4 – Architect George Clarke returns for a second series of Restoration Man with a wide range of families and brand new restoration projects. After years of living away from their families, Pete and Nikki Fagg moved back to Kent, with the dream of restoring and extending a derelict windmill which had been owned by Pete’s family for over 100 years.

9.00pm Eternal Law ITV – Quirky 6-part drama series from Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham about two angels who are sent to Earth in the guise of lawyers in order to help humankind. Moments after Zak and Tom’s arrival in York, the peace of the city is shattered by a shocking act of violence. The pair are then plunged into a court case involving an estranged family and a newlywed

9.00pm Celebrity Big Brother Five – Launch of the celebrity based reality series hosted by Bryan Dowling.

9.00pm The Grammar School: A Secret History BBC4 – The British grammar schools provided five consecutive prime ministers as well as many high fliers in industry, science and the arts. Yet at the height of their success they were phased out. Featuring David Attenborough and Joan Bakewell amongst many others, this two-part series uses personal stories and rare archive to reveal the secret history of some of Britain’s most successful schools 


7.30pm Come Dine With Me Channel 4 – Celebrity edition. Going head to head are straight talking Tina Malone of Shameless fame, tabloid scandal sensation Imogen Thomas, ex-Hollyoaks actor Paul Danan, and 80s pop star David Van Day.

8.00pm Safari Vet School ITV – TV vet Steve Leonard acts as guide and mentor to students from the UK as they try to cope with the challenges and terrors of being a wildlife vet. 32 talented veterinary students are sent to one of the toughest vet schools in the world – the Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. In this episode, the students get their first taste of life on the game reserve. They have to pin down animals which are barely under sedation and which have claws and teeth that could rip the students to shreds. The experience provides quite a welcome to one of the toughest vet schools in the world. 

8.30pm The One Lenny Henry BBC1 – Lenny Henry showcases brand new stand-up combined with characters reprised from his early career and some new sketches. His first show in 20 years.

8.30pm New Girl Channel 4 – US sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel as Jess, a woman who moves in with three men after discovering her boyfriend has been cheating on her. In the first episode of the series, Jess’s new housemates – prickly bartender Nick, womaniser Schmidt and intense personal trainer Coach – help her adjust to the single life.

9.00pm Hustle BBC1 – Eighth and final series of the drama based around a team of con artists. The grifters take on Dexter Gold, the greedy, smooth-talking owner of a corrupt gold exchange. The con is to pose as a renegade army unit in possession of a hundred bars of stolen Libyan gold, but can they pull it off without reprisals? Meanwhile, someone has defaced Eddie’s prized picture of Ian Rush, so he bars the gang until the culprit owns up.

9.00pm Sicily Unpacked BBC2 – Andrew Graham-Dixon and Giorgio Locatelli take viewers on a journey into the heart of Sicily and introduce one another to the things they love about the island. Their first stop takes them to Giorgio’s friend Vittorio and his restaurant near the seaside village of Porto Paolo. There is no menu, you are served whatever is best that day.

9.00pm Law & Order UK ITV – New series of the crime drama based on the US drama series. With Paul Nicholls joining the cast alongside Bradley Walsh. The first episode centeres around a drive-by shooting outside the Old Bailey leaves one police officer dead and another wounded in what appears to be an attack on a witness giving evidence in an attempted murder trial. But as Ronnie and the team investigate further, they are surprised to discover that the gunman was actually aiming for the police – believing his family to be victims of a cover-up. With the defence team arguing that their client has been the subject of institutional racism by the police 

9.00pm Stella Sky1 – Comedy drama created, written by and starring Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey). Life isn’t simple for Stella, a 40-something mum in the Welsh Valleys.

10.00pm Rude Tube Channel 4 

10.00pm Celebrity Wedding Planner Five – Documentary series in which a soon-to-be wed couple hand over the complete organisation of their big day to a celebrity. It is only after burlesque dancer Beulah and her fiance James have signed up to go along with everything the planners decide that they find out that their celebrity is Jedward! The twins have a budget of £12,000 and two weeks to bring together their concept. Can Beulah and James’s best friends steer the twins towards what they think the couple would want, or will Jedward go their own way? Cue fire-eaters, a stuffed gorilla and a party in a big top.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


All the latest TV news and TV listings from the staff of the site.


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