UK TV programmes to watch this week : 16/11/2013

Great Continental Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 17th November 2013)

Armed with his 1913 railway guide, Michael Portillo explores Scandinavia and discovers the royal roots of early 20th century British travellers’ close dynastic ties with the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway. After braving one of the world’s oldest rollercoasters in Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens, Michael takes the train across the Oresund Bridge linking Denmark to Sweden, where he retraces the tracks of a train which carried a revolutionary Russian passenger on an epic voyage. In Lund, he samples a Smorgasbord before having a Highland fling in Gothenburg, where he test drives a vintage Volvo. Crossing the border again into Norway, Michael discovers how in 1913 this young nation expressed its own distinctively modern identity in plays, paintings and polar exploration.

Britain and the Sea (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 17th November 2013)

David Dimbleby sails the south west coast of England – along the coast of Devon and Cornwall – in his own sailing boat, Rocket, exploring maritime history, art and architecture as he goes. Caught up in stormy weather, he makes it to safety in the nick of time, to tell the story of Sir Francis Drake and a fantastic array of adventurers, explorers, pirates and smugglers. It’s also a chance for David to enjoy some of Britain’s most beautiful coastline and turn his hand to a bit of art himself. David also gingerly submits himself to one of the oldest maritime art forms of all – the art of the tattoo!

Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 17th 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. It’s been the longest dry season in living memory but the rains have finally come and now everything has changed. Thirst has trapped the elephants, buffalo and antelope close to the river where they’ve been easy prey for the lions, leopards and wild dogs. But now the grazing animals can spread out across the valley and the predators are going to have to work a whole lot harder for their food.

Tales From Northumberland with Robson Green (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 18th November 2013)

Eight-part series in which Robson Green travels across his native county and discovers how it has played a role in shaping contemporary Britain. In episode four, Robson discovers how Northumberland’s border with Scotland has affected British history and how the bloody battles of the Middle Ages turned the area into a constant war zone. He visits Berwick-upon-Tweed, a town that changed hands between the English and the Scots thirteen times, and drops in on a training session with Berwick Rangers. Uniquely, they are the only English football team to play in the Scottish league. He also attends the Flodden Ride Out, when hundreds of locals cross the border on horseback to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, where King James IV and the flower of Scottish nobility were slain on 9 September 1513.

The Choir: Sing While You Work (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 18th 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 checks out the talent at supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s. When the choir’s deepest bass breaks cover with his passion for Dolly Parton will the head office high flyers and the shop and depot workers finally sing with one voice, united by the Queen of country?

24 Hours in A and E (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 20th November 2013)

The award-winning series, filmed round the clock at King’s College Hospital in South London, continues with a touching episode dedicated to love. Concerned young parents Nicole and Stefian arrive in Resus by ambulance with their 19-month-old baby daughter Xah’Nae. She’s been vomiting, has a high fever and has become floppy and unresponsive. The King’s medical team are concerned that Xah’Nae may have a life-threatening infection around her brain and in her spine, possibly encephalitis. Doctors hope a strong mixture of antibiotic and anti-viral drugs will stabilise her.

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 21st November 2013)

George visits the ultimate in compact designer living – the Yo! Home, a futuristic living area that boasts ingenious space-saving technology, where the double bed rises from the floor and into the ceiling, to reveal the gorgeous living area, and the kitchen and bathrooms are cleverly hidden from view. Inspired by this design, George and William put together the main rectangular living area for the tree house, and prove that by folding everything into the walls it is possible to place the kitchen, living and bedroom into a 12-square-metre box. George also meets a couple in the Wirral who are willing to put all their savings towards building the ultimate wilderness beach hut.

An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:30pm | Thursday 21st November 2013)

This special one-off drama travels back in time to 1963 to see how Doctor Who was first brought to the screen. Actor William Hartnell felt trapped by a succession of hard-man roles. Wannabe producer Verity Lambert was frustrated by the TV industry’s glass ceiling. Both of them were to find unlikely hope and unexpected challenges in the form of a Saturday tea-time drama. Allied with a team of unusual but brilliant people, they went on to create the longest running science fiction series ever made.

Stobart: Trucks, Trains and Planes (Channel 5 | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 22nd November 2013)

Observational documentary series following one of the world’s biggest haulage firms. Tim has his biomass credentials put to the test, a dodgy tyre puts Roy on the back foot on a bank holiday, a concrete staircase destined for Southend airport’s new terminal has a weight problem and Paul tries to get a 16-foot trailer through a 15-foot bridge.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC 1/HD | 10:35pm to 11:20pm | Friday 22nd November 2013)

The award-winning host continues his anarchic talk show. Together on Graham’s sofa are Oscar-winning actress and writer Emma Thompson, starring in new movie Saving Mr Banks; double Doctor Whos Matt Smith and David Tennant; top comedian Jimmy Carr; and pop star Robbie Williams, chatting and performing I Wanna Be Like You.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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