PICK: 9.45pm The Thick of It BBC2 – Third series of the political comedy. Roger Allam returns as Peter Mannion MP, the new Secretary of State for The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC), supported by his team of special advisors, commanded by Number 10’s Director of Communications Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin) and thwarted by his new Coalition partner, DOSAC’s Junior Minister Fergus Williams MP (Geoffrey Streatfeild).
Also back are Nicola Murray MP and foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, in roles reprised by Bafta award winners Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi. Both are now consigned to Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, but still desperately hoping for a return to power. The ensemble cast is completed by Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, and Rebecca Gethings.
In the first episode of this seven-part series, tensions are running high in DoSAC. It is launch day for ‘Silicon Playgrounds’, the Coalition’s new digital youth policy master-minded by Junior Minister Fergus Williams. Number 10’s spin doctor Stewart Pearson delivers the bombshell that the PM wants digital-illiterate Peter Mannion to launch the policy, rather than Fergus. What could possibly go wrong with that? All Fergus gets left with is drawing up the list of staff redundancies, and Terri Coverley is pretty sure she can make his hit list if she plays her cards right, finding help from an unexpected direction.
8.00pm China on Four Wheels BBC2 – Anita Rani and Justin Rowlatt embark on two epic car journeys through China, navigating congested cities and winding mountain roads to explore whether the country’s economic growth, exemplified by its booming car industry, can be sustained. If so, what impact would that have on the world and on the day-to-day lives of the Chinese people?
In the first of the two-part series, the pair set off from Beijing and take two very different routes towards Shanghai – journeys which will take three weeks to complete.
PICK: 9.00pm Dragons’ Den BBC2 – New series as the Dragons search for more business partners in the Den.
PICK: 9.00pm The Scapegoat ITV – Charles Sturridge’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel. The story of two very different men who happen to look identical. John Standing and Johnny Spence meet by chance in a railway station bar, each of them at a crossroads in their lives. Charming and charismatic Johnny wines and dines John. But when John wakes up the following morning he is alone and a chauffeur is waiting to take him home. In spite of his protests he finds himself being inexorably drawn into the other man’s life. He is suddenly responsible for a crumbling house, a failing business – and a dog who doesn’t recognise him. And he is faced with a group of women – a distraught wife, a drug addict mother, a sister who despises him, an eccentric daughter and two mistresses – one of whom is already married to his younger brother. Although his first instinct is to escape, John gradually becomes attracted to the eccentric band and his presence begins to alter the chemistry of the home.
5.00pm Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course Channel 4 – In this practical home cookery series Gordon Ramsay strips away the complexity and hard graft to show how to cook 100 simple, accessible and modern recipes. Each episode, airing every weekday, concentrates on a different theme essential for the modern cook – from the secret of cooking with chilli and spice, through to baking, roasting and slow cooking – and is packed full of useful tricks and tips to save time and money. In the first episode Gordon teaches how to cook with confidence.
8.30pm Food Unwrapped Channel 4 – Science series that explores how our food is really made and the industry secrets behind our favourite produce. This eight-part series is presented by a team of reporters who travel the globe to discover just how the food we love is mass produced. Food Unwrapped contacts supermarkets and producers with simple questions about the food we buy.
PICK: 9.00pm Leaving ITV – Three-part drama written by Tony Marchant in which an aimless twenty-something man falls into a romantic relationship with a married woman twenty years his senior. Aaron Hughes is 25. Living with his parents he cannot find a job and his ex-girlfriend is about to marry his brother. Julie Ranmore is 44, married and a mother of two but the passion in her marriage has long since gone. When Julie first meets Aaron, each is unaware that this moment is the unlikely start to an unlikely relationship. When Aaron takes a job at the hotel where Julie works, a bond begins to form. What follows will have profound implications for them both.
9.00pm 999: What’s Your Emergency? Channel 4 – 10-part documentary documentary series Filmed 24/7 with police, fire and ambulance teams in Blackpool over six weeks, shows how Britain is changing through the eyes of the emergency services on the front line. In the first programme of the series, Blackpool’s emergency services tackle the fallout from the dizzying array of ‘party drugs’ that are on the rise in towns across the UK.
9.00pm Let Me Entertain You BBC3 – Series in which Reggie Yates sets out to find six young people whose musical talent is being eclipsed by Tourette syndrome. Despite the challenges of their daily lives, in only 12 weeks they will put on an event, performing live in front of a huge audience. Ruth Ojadi is the first person that Reggie meets, and initially he finds it very difficult to deal with her constant physical and verbal tics. By her early twenties the Tourette’s became unmanageable and she was forced to quit university, where she was studying music, and give up singing altogether. Steve plays the piano and guitar, as well as singing. His Tourette’s is severe and, as well as the verbal outbursts, his body is constantly jerking. However, when Steve performs his tics completely disappear, only to start again the moment he finishes a song. As the six young people meet for the first time, Reggie realises just what a mammoth task he has taken on.
10.00pm 9/11: The Miracle Survivor Channel 4 – Documentary that reveals reveals what could be the last untold survival story from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. Survivor Pasquale Buzzelli rode a blizzard of falling debris from a 22nd-floor World Trade Center stairwell and lived, miraculously, to tell his story. For the first time on television Pasquale recalls in extraordinary detail the full story of September 11, 2001. The film also hears from a leading physicist who discusses the science behind Pasquale’s survival; how did he survive the collapse of the North Tower by effectively surfing down it?
10.35pm Hillsborough ITV – On the eve of the publication of a report on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, this landmark documentary casts new light on the events of the terrible day and its shocking aftermath
8.00pm Double Your House for Half the Money Channel 4 – Property expert Sarah Beeny helps people to achieve their property dreams without breaking the bank, even in these recession-hit times. In this inspirational series Sarah’s out to prove that anyone can have home they’ve always dreamed about, even if they can’t afford to buy it. By extending, converting, facelifting or drilling down, even the most modest property can become a sensational home.
9.00pm The Vikings BBC2 – Three-part series that sees Historian Neil Oliver head to Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the marauding Norsemen – the Vikings – from their point of view
9.00pm One Born: Twins & Triplets Channel 4 – 2-part documentary following the births of twins and triplets, talking to the new parents and the medical staff who care for them.
10.00pm Rude Tube Channel 4 – Alex Zane returns with more internet based fun.
8.00pm River Cottage: Three Go Mad Channel 4 – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is joined at River Cottage by three much-loved comedians: Robert Webb, Lee Mack and Ruby Wax. But while they might be funny people, their cooking skills are laughable. Can two days of intensive cooking classes with the River Cottage team whip them into shape as chefs? Lee and Robert are thrown in the deep end and left to knock up a kedgeree for Hugh. Later, Lee teams up with Ruby for a bit of competitive cake cooking, before all three comedians go head-to-head in a sausage making challenge.
8.00pm Top Dog Model ITV2 – Stacey Solomon presents the search for the nation’s most attractive dog. The country’s cutest canines are put through real modelling assignments and a series of challenges in order to discover who is Britain’s top dog. The dogs successfully through the auditions now face the next stage of the modelling contest, Paw Camp.
9.00pm Dead Good Job BBC2 – Looking at the work of Britain’s funeral directors as they help people say the last goodbye. Following a Muslim funeral company attempts to bury the dead as quickly as possible in accordance with Islamic tradition, a terminally ill mother of two who chooses to plan and arrange her own funeral and a high speed send off for a biker who gets his wish of a final ride in a motorcycle hearse.
PICK: 9.00pm Grand Designs Channel 4 – Twelve series of the property show fronted by Kevin McCloud. Beginning with the story of one man’s heroic attempt to fulfill his childhood dream and bring back from the ruins an incredible castle set in one of the most beautiful landscapes of southern Ireland. Sean Simon fell in love with the ruins of Cloontykilla Castle when he played there as a boy. Years later he bought it, with the idea of turning it into a spectacular, theatrical mock 16th century home. But would it prove to be a magnificent personal masterpiece, or a garish sub-Disneyesque disaster? After borrowing an eye-watering 1.2 million Euros, Sean launches into his project just as Ireland plunges into recession..
9.00pm Be Your Own Boss BBC3 – Entrepreneur Richard Reed, the man behind Innocent drinks, is on the hunt for the next generation of start-up superstars. He has set aside up to a million pounds to invest in big ideas. From the 500 hopefuls who pitched everything from bubblegum-flavoured chicken to state-of-the-art drink dispensers, Richard selects the first three bright ideas he is willing to risk big money on.
10.00pm Shameless Channel 4 – The anarchic comedy returns for ten brand new episodes. The unthinkable has happened… the Department of Work and Pensions has finally caught up with job dodger Frank. A nightmare fantasy emerges of Frank on death row with the Chatsworth characters appearing as cell mates, prison governor, guards and last supper servers. Frank is a ‘dead man walking’ to… a job! Continues Tomorrow.
8.00pm Location, Location, Location Channel 4 – Kirstie & Phil return to rush the aid of more home buyers in five brand new episodes.
9.00pm The Audience Channel 4 – In this brand new three-part factual series, a person with a life-changing decision to make is followed round by 50 strangers for a week. Each programme focuses on someone with a genuine dilemma. Unsure what to do, they turn to The Audience for help. After a week, The Audience must agree on a decision and deliver their verdict on the path to take. The first programme features 47-year-old Ian Wainwright, a farmer who can’t decide whether to continue running the family dairy farm for his ageing uncles, or walk away and start a new life.
8.00pm Island Hospital ITV – First in a new 12-part series which follows the work and lives of the staff and patients of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Guernsey, the only general hospital to serve the island of Guernsey itself and another five islands – Sark, Herm, Alderney, Jethou and Lihou.
9.00pm Piers Morgan’s Life Stories ITV – With guest Sir Roger Moore.
9.00pm The Million Pound Drop Live Channel 4
9.30pm Moone Boy Sky1 –Chris O’Dowd brings his childhood to life in a new family comedy. In Boyle, Ireland in 1989, 11-year-old Martin Moone has a somewhat unusual friend.
Episode 2 airs at 10.00pm
PICK: 10.00pm QI BBC2 – Tenth series of the panel game hosted by Stephen Fry. This series focuses on the letter J. Guests include Bill Bailey, Victoria Coren and Jimmy Carr.
10.00pm Alan Carr: Chatty Man Channel 4 – Alan is joined by Pink and Gok Wan in the first of a new series of his chat show.