What to watch on TV this week - Comedy gold, and the return of a 90s favourite

Endeavour returns to ITV and Britbox this month  

Endeavour returns to ITV and Britbox this month - Credit: ITV

Endeavour, Sundays, ITV, 8pm and available on BritBox

My favourite telly ‘tec finally returns to our screens tomorrow after an extended hiatus due to the pandemic. Autumn is the season for moody crime thrillers and they don’t come much moodier than the Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour. 

Set in Oxford in the 60s and 70s, Shaun Evans (also currently appearing in BBC1’s Vigil) stars as the young Morse alongside Roger Allam as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday and Anton Lesser as his boss, Chief Superintendent Bright. 

As well as baroque mysteries which keep you guessing right up to the big reveal of whodunit, writer Russell Lewis packs the series with ‘Easter eggs’ too. You’ll find references to comedy series The Day Today, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, numerous other film and TV shows and plenty of nods to the Morse universe and the opera loving sleuth’s creator Colin Dexter. 

Each episode is feature length, so it’s one to block out an evening or a rainy afternoon for.  

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This three-part run finds Morse in 1971. The drama of the last series has left him in a dark place, seeking solace in the bottle and regularly calling in sick. 

But the team has a at a college murder to solve which could have political ramifications and Morse is assigned as the bodyguard to a local footballer who has been threatened by the IRA. 

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Emma Lee 

Changing Rooms, Channel 4, Wednesdays, 8pm 
Two sets of friends, two rooms, a budget of around 40p, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in leather trousers - it’s as if Changing Rooms has never been away. Joined by new presenter Anna Richardson (never knowingly not see on Channel 4) and rival designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, LLB and the show are on familiar territory, giving normal people insanely over-the-top room makeovers. 

Victorian seducer and black clad pantomime villain LLB is on glorious form, there’s MDF, awful crafting, cat ladders, (deliberate) smearing on ceilings, swings in living rooms and one of the most sinister pieces of bedroom art I have ever seen: a wall hanging made of wig hair. Why would I NOT want to watch this? 

Stacia Briggs 

Bar Rescue, Amazon Prime 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for trash TV, and as I discovered in lockdown, streaming services are full of reality shows old and new that you can spend hours getting lost in.  

One I discovered during the height of lockdown is a show called Bar Rescue. An American reality show, think of it like Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares – but instead of failing restaurants and cafes, its focus is on rundown bars, pubs and nightclubs.  

Hosted by entrepreneur Jon Taffer, he’s well-versed in the food and drinks industry – but that doesn’t stop these zany and belligerent business owners from trying to fight Jon and his advice. Cue the fiery arguments and shouting matches, dramatic walk-outs and reconciliations that are to be expected every episode. It’s incredibly entertaining and highly addictive. And thankfully, there’s five seasons available on Prime with between 10 and 40 episodes each. 

Danielle Lett 

Only Murders in the Building, Tuesdays, Star on Disney+ 

Disney has brought out the big guns in 2021. If, like me, you thought the channel/subscription service (£7.99 per month) was just for kids – you're mistaken. 

Goaded into signing up by my teenagers, I largely ignored Disney+ as a back catalogue of cartoons I’ve seen a millions times before. I was wrong. Yes, those classics are there, alongside programming from Discovery (all those shark documentaries my husband loves), but you’ll also find Star. A playground for grown-ups. 

We’ve found some gems here. An enigmatic Tim Roth as face-reading crime-solving genius Lightman in Lie to Me. Procedural crime drama featuring the eponymous Dr Rosewood. And there’s original programming too. Former Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall dazzles in Filthy Rich. While the newest addition, Only Murders in the Building, is a comedy romp that serves as a vehicle for the superb chemistry between Steve Martin and Martin Short. Alongside (now grown-up) teeny bopper Selena Gomez, Martin and Short star as ageing former big shots seeking adventure. When a body is found in their apartment building, in a salubrious part of New York, the unlikely friends join forces to conduct their own investigation – armed with the limited knowledge they’ve picked up from their shared love of a hit crime podcast.  

There’s humour. There’s pathos (what does happen to fading actors and directors once they’ve run out their tenure?). And most of all there’s heart. How could you not love anything with Steve Martin in? Well worth a look. 

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis 

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