TV highlights for Easter Weekend and the following week
PUBLISHED: 00:36 29 March 2018
Some TV highlights for Easter weekend and next week - from Ant and Dec without Ant to Agatha Christie, Dave Allen’s f-bomb to Cunk on Britain, Patrick Kielty talking about his father’s death at the hands of the UFF to real-life crime and shows with days in their title.
Saturday: Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, ITV, 7pm: With Ant out of action, this will be the first time ever that Declan Donnelly will be going it alone without his presenting partner and best friend. The show must go on, however, so for these last two episodes of the series it’ll be business as usual. Stephen Merchant is on duty as the Star Guest Announcer, and Stephen Mulhern hits the streets of Warrington for the latest round of In for a Penny. I’m not even sure I can say ‘Dec’ without ‘Ant and...’ before it.
Sunday: Ordeal by Innocence, BBC1, 9pm: It’s been a long time coming, but at last, this adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1958 novel is here. Originally set to be broadcast at Christmas, it was postponed due to allegations directed at cast member Ed Westwick - which he has strenuously denied; his role in the production has since been re-shot with Christian Cooke. Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Luke Treadaway and Morven Christie are also included in this all-star take on a tale involving the murder of wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argylle at Sunny Point, her family estate. Her adopted son Jack is arrested for the crime but dies in prison before a trial can take place. Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary arrives, claiming he can prove Jack’s innocence - but why are Rachel’s surviving relatives so reluctant to reopen the case? Christie at Easter: almost as good as an egg.
Monday: Dave Allen at Peace, BBC2, 9pm: The man behind the recent dramas that looked at real life comedy stars Hattie Jacques and The Dad’s Army Story - Stephen Russell - has put his pen towards this homage to legendary comedian Dave Allen. Charting Allen’s life from childhood to performing at Butlin’s to becoming one of the UK’s comedy greats, the film explores how tragedy shaped his career and looks at his issues with the Catholic church, the IRA and his controversial decision to drop the f-bomb live on air.
Tueday: Cunk on Britain, BBC2, 10pm: I’ve just about recovered from the bad news that Charlie Brooker wouldn’t be able to meet the deadlines for his fabulous Screen Wipe (“was set to do it, but I ran out of road,” he tweeted) and that was partly because I was looking forward to this treat starring the marvellous Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan, latterly seen as Liz on Motherland) in a new five-part satire series about our lovely nation. No one can accuse Cunk of not being thorough - the opening episode finds her going right back to the Big Bang.
Wednesday: My Dad, the Peace Deal and Me, 9pm: Comedian Patrick Kielty has first-hand memories of The Troubles. On January 25, 1988, his father John ‘Jack’ Kielty was shot dead by the UFF - a wing of the UDA - in his home village of Dundrum. Now, on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Patrick wants to find out if the historic peace deal has delivered on its pledge to create a new Northern Ireland, free of the hatred that took his father’s life.
Thursday: The Investigator: A British Crime Story, ITV, 9pm: Mark Williams-Thomas, the award-winning former police detective who unmasked Jimmy Savile as the UK’s most notorious paedophile, is back tonight and has a new case to get his teeth into. He has been approached by the family of Louise Kay, an 18-year-old who disappeared from Eastbourne, East Sussex, in 1988 along with her distinctive Ford Fiesta. Soon the story takes an even more sinister turn as Williams-Thomas uncovers the cases of other women who vanished in similar circumstances and the true scale of unsolved murder cases across the country emerges.
Friday: Sounds Like Friday Night, BBC1, 7.30pm: University of East Anglia alumni Greg James returns with the live music and interview show which comes direct from Television Centre in west London’s White City. Synth-pop group Years and Years and rock band Snow Patrol both perform their new singles for the first time on live television, while American pop superstar Meghan Trainor also graces the show. Confusingly, there’s another name-based show on the same night - I Don’t Like Mondays on Channel 4 at 8pm. It’s a throwback to Chris Evans’ Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush when the studio audience brought a passport and suitcase after booking a week off work in case they won a holiday. This time round, the stakes are considerably raised as audience members bring a letter of resignation with them and stand to win a year’s salary. As of yet, there’s no word on what to do if you don’t win but go into work on Monday to find your boss saw you - and your resignation letter and isn’t best pleased. You have been warned.
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