Stacia Briggs: What to watch on TV this week
- Credit: BBC / Rollem Productions
From Pat Butcher smoking pot to Twisty the Clown, Peaky Blinders to the latest from Kay Mellor, it's a big week on the small screen
Monday: The Boy with the Topknot, BBC2, 9pm: It's a memoir of love, secrets and lies in Wolverhampton (which I know because I've read the book and that's part of its full title). In turn a tale of growing up as a Punjabi Sikh in a provincial town in the 1980s and 1990s and of learning to live with his father and sister's mental illness – which had been hidden for him for years. Potentially fabulous.
Gone to Pot: American Road Trip, ITV, 9pm: After the recent Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, ITV is bringing us an even more unlikely celebrity drug expose - Pat Butcher on pot. While Gordon drew the line - as it were - at sampling the Class A drug, EastEnders' icon Pam St Clement and fellow celebrities
Linda Robson, Christopher Biggins, retired footballer John Fashanu and darts supremo Bobby George try marijuana to see if it helps their health problems and look into the thorny issue of legalisation. Pat smoking a bong has got to be up there with her appearing as a ghost to Peggy Mitchell.I can't wait.
You may also want to watch:
Tuesday: Jo Brand's Cats and Kittens, Channel 5, 8pm: Jo is a self-confessed cat queen and tonight will be reporting from the front line at one of the UK's busiest animal hospitals as it treats a whole range of pussycats in peril. You may be left feline the need for a tissue.
Motherland, BBC2, 10pm: The razor-sharp accuracy with which Sharon Horgan, Graham Linehan et al portray life as a working mother is terrifying. This week, Julia finds herself involved in a school fundraiser order to impress a former colleague and her new mum crush, a former colleague who doesn't recognise her. Meanwhile, the horrific Amanda hosts the Auction of Promises, Kevin has a battle when he decides to be a human cloakroom 'for fun' and despite Anne's protests, Liz takes care of the bar and the size of the spirit measures. The parents' evening that kicks off the episode is a treat.
- 1 Norfolk wakes up to empty pumps – despite assurances of ‘ample fuel stocks’
- 2 County welcomes tankers but motorists continue to queue for fuel
- 3 Delays on roads as petrol queues continue
- 4 Q&A: All you need to know about fuel shortages
- 5 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 6 Weird Norfolk: Is Diss Mere the waterlogged crater of an extinct volcano?
- 7 Concern raised over work on anaerobic digestion plant on outskirts of village
- 8 A11 to undergo 18 months of roadworks
- 9 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 10 Can you spot yourself at Let's Rock Norwich?
The Deuce, Sky Atlantic: It's the season finale and the city is at the brink of change: twin brothers Frankie and Bobby take a shot at expanding the business, but Vincent hesitates when he realizes it means getting in deeper with Rudy. Meanwhile, Candy finally gets a taste of directing, Abby changes the Hi-Hat's clientele, C.C. encourages a former pimp to get back to the trade, Barbara and Ruby bump into the wrong kind of clients and Alston finds himself in a tight spot at his precinct. Series two is set up nicely.
Wednesday: Peaky Blinders, BBC2, 9pm: According to Cillian Murphy, PB is 'going back to its roots' with this new series, which opens in December 1925. Tommy receives an unwelcome Christmas present that forces him back to Small Heath where he has to join the Shelby family once again.
The Apprentice, BBC1, 9pm: I don't think we can hope for the heady heights of seeing Claude on a Segway again (I keep that video close by to lighten dark moments) but we live in hope of perhaps seeing Sir Alan in a sidecar. This week, candidates have to create advertising campaigns for a new car in Essex, splitting into two teams - one half producing a television advert and the other creating a digital billboard advert. This challenge is always a treat, especially the bit where they pitch in front of incredulous industry experts.
Thursday: Love, Lies and Records, BBC1, 9pm: Births, marriages and deaths – it's all in a day's work for a registrar. Kay Mellor's new drama is set in a registry office and literally charts life's biggest highs and lows. Starring is Ashley Jenson, a registrar anxious about her colleagues' reaction to her promotion.
British Workers Wanted, Channel 4, 10pm: Opus Loco is one of Bognor Regis's busiest recruitment agencies but the bosses are in trouble. Unless they can find Brits to replace their trusted Eastern European workforce, who are now starting to head home, their agency could be forced to close. Never shy of a fight, with sleeves rolled up the women set out to drag the citizens of Bognor out of bed or off the beach and into work. But things don't quite go to plan and they're left questioning their Brexit vote...Bit late for that, isn't it?
Friday: Children in Need, BBC1, 7.30pm: Raising money for a huge number of great causes, tonight's CIN will include Blue Peter presenters past and present taking part in a special edition of Strictly Come Dancing, an exclusive preview of the Call the Midwife Christmas special, a performance from the hit West End musical Annie and the famous Rickshaw Challenge.
Bog Bodies Secrets Revealed, Channel 5, 10pm: In 1950, farmers in Jutland, an area of central Denmark, stumbled across two bodies in a bog with blackened skin and flame-red hair, preserved in a form of natural mummification. Cutting-edge forensic science now allows a 2,000-year-old murder mystery to be unlocked and using revolutionary new methods, a team of scientists unearths a shocking story of vengeful gods, dark water and human sacrifice. Which ironically describes my plans for the weekend, too.
American Horror Story: Cult, Fox: While previous series have been set in hotels, covens, haunted houses, asylums and freak shows, the theme of season seven is far more terrifying: politics. The action starts on American election night in 2016 and - rejoice - Twisty the Clown is coming back. Don't have nightmares...
The Punisher, Netflix: The latest Marvel hero to get his own series, The Punisher is a tortured vigilante waging a one-man war on the mobsters who killed his wife and two children. Instead of super-powers, he has brains, brawn and a whole lot of anger. Walking Dead fans (the ones who are left) will be overjoyed to hear that taking the lead role is Jon Bernthal, the much-missed Shane from the zombie series. All 13 episodes land today. Lucky for some.