UK TV programmes to watch this week : 09/11/2013

Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 10th November 2013)

Kate Humble and Simon King report from Zambia, following the lives of the animals living along the Luangwa River at a critical time in the seasons. There has been no rain for seven months but the clouds are building and the drought could break any day. The river is the only water around, and predator and prey are squashed uncomfortably close. Lions and wild dogs, one of the most endangered animals on Earth, compete for territory as elephants try to keep cool in the fierce heat and leopards enjoy days of plenty. 75 cameras capture every moment as it happens through the last days of the longest dry season in memory to the arrival of the rains that will change everything.

Great Continental Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 10th November 2013)

Steered by his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Germany, powerhouse of today’s European Union, and learns how tourists in the early 20th century would have been visiting quite a new country, which they admired and envied but also feared. Beginning in Dresden, Michael explores the city of one of his favourite opera composers, Richard Wagner. He learns about the health craze of the time and attempts the equivalent of a 1913 Jane Fonda workout. He travels to Leipzig on an historic railway line, built by British engineers in 1839. In Brunswick he learns how the arrival of the railway added its own flavour to the local beer before moving on to Hamburg, where he discovers model railway making on the grandest of scales. In Kiel, Michael learns about the intense rivalry between Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his uncle, British King Edward VII, at the Kiel Week yacht races. Michael boards an early 20th Century yacht to experience the thrill for himself.

Tales From Northumberland with Robson Green (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 11th November 2013)

Eight-part series in which Robson Green travels across his home county and discovers how this mystical place has played a unique role in shaping contemporary Britain. In this episode, Robson travels along one of the country’s most stunning stretches of coastline, where he learns how Northumberland’s past has shaped the Britain we know today. He meets the family who live in Bamburgh Castle and finds out how it once dominated the region as seat of the kings of ancient Northumbria. Robson then follows the Pilgrim’s Way to Lindisfarne, known as the cradle of English Christianity, and goes swimming with grey seals off the Farne Islands

The Choir: Sing While You Work (BBC2 /HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 11th November 2013)

Choirmaster Gareth Malone returns to create harmony in five of Britain’s biggest workplaces. As the contest to be crowned ‘best workplace choir’ continues, Gareth travels to Birmingham to the biggest council in Europe. He discovers a singing traffic warden, a social worker soloist and a high-pitched gardener. With the next round of government cuts announced mid-rehearsals, some choir members may not have jobs at the end of the year.

999: What’s Your Emergency? (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 11th November 2013)

The documentary series that reveals modern Britain through the eyes of our ambulance staff concludes with an episode focusing on babies – from births to over-protective parents and from very poorly children to those facing neglect and abuse. Across the UK 2200 women go into labour every day. Most make it to hospital, but for those who can’t the ambulance service is there to help. The programme features call handlers talking worried partners through what to do while ambulance crews race to help deliver the baby. When the medics leave it’s up to the parents to look after their bundles of joy. However, some parents over-react and call 999 at the first sign of a cough or a bump to the head – there’s been a 42% increase in parents seeking emergency medical help for routine childhood complaints in the last ten years. But at the opposite end of the spectrum, reports of child neglect have risen 30% in the last year and it’s often paramedics who are first to step in.

The Escape Artist (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 12th November 2013)

Legal drama series. The case against Foyle is crumbling. The profession that has sustained Will Burton all his life is no longer supporting him. Can Will find another way for justice to be served?

Grand Designs (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 13th November 2013)

Six years ago Lucie Fairweather and Nat McBride began to build an affordable eco home in Woodbridge for themselves and their two young children. They were determined to create an exciting, modern landmark home. However, their journey was to be about more than bricks and mortar. Just before they got started, Nat discovered he had cancer, and after just a few months he passed away. Lucie decided to carry on with the project Nat had devised. Kevin McCloud returns to find out just how life has moved on for Lucie and to discover whether her wonderful and striking house has become part of the landscape.

Britain by Bike: The Welsh Borders. Series 1, episode 2 (BBC 4 | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Wednesday 13th November 2013)

Clare Balding attempts to re-discover Britain from the saddle of a touring cycle, following in the wheeltracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe, whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s lovingly describe by-passed Britain. Clare’s journey into Wales is rich in literary connections to both Bruce Chatwin and AE Housman. She reveals how a cycle factory went to war and finds out about the Bride’s Tree – a bizarre village ceremony with a dark secret.

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 14th November 2013)

George meets a woman who wants to build a shop and a mobile home out of an old horsebox, but only has £500 to spend. He meets a couple who are creating a holiday let out of a 1960s milk float. He visits an extraordinary 100-foot-long balancing barn, half of which is hanging over the edge of the Sussex countryside. And George and William make plans for a rectangular pod for their tree house.

The Science of Doctor Who (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 14th November 2013)

For one night only, Professor Brian Cox takes an audience of celebrity guests, including Charles Dance and Rufus Hound, and members of the public on a journey into the wonderful universe of the Doctor, from the lecture hall of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Drawing on the latest theories as well as 200 years of scientific discoveries and the genius of Einstein, Brian tries to answer the classic questions raised by the Doctor – can you really travel in time? Does extra-terrestrial life exist in our galaxy? And how do you build something as fantastical as the TARDIS?

24 Hours in A and E (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 13th November 2013)

The RTS award-winning series returns for a new series, capturing dramatic and emotional stories of love, life and loss on the frontline of the NHS. The series is filmed around the clock at one of Britain’s busiest A&E departments at King’s College Hospital in South London. This episode focuses on patients rushed into King’s after being involved in serious traffic accidents, and shows that not all problems are immediately obvious.

Stobart: Trucks, Trains and Planes (Channel 5 | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 15th November 2013)

Observational documentary series following one of the world’s biggest haulage firms. Ian ‘Spit’ Wilson has to deliver a 15-tonne rail repair machine, known as the Gopher, to Sunderland. He battles through traffic and heavy rain, but then has to get the monster machine onto the rails. Matt Ekins makes a return to his spiritual home – tramping. He goes on a tour of the East Midlands on a multi-drop mission, but it seems that around every corner is another massive queue.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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