UK TV programmes to watch this week : 21/12/2013

The Time of the Doctor. Special Episode (YouView app screenshot)The Choir: Sing While You Work (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 22nd December 2013)

The final of the competition takes place at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, where the three remaining choirs perform the world premier of a piece by composer Paul Mealor and lyricist Brendan Graham. The choirs have been practising intensely for six months and are now challenged by choirmaster Gareth Malone to interpret the piece however they wish. This means that, within each choir, the members must agree on their strengths, their style and their stars. Performances, backed by the Ely Cathedral Choir, take place in a packed cathedral. It then falls to the three judges to decide who will be crowned best workplace choir.

Toy Story (BBC 1/HD | 3:15pm to 4:30pm | Monday 23rd December 2013)

Computer-animated fantasy in which a child’s toys come alive whenever he leaves the room. Woody is a pull-string cowboy and is respected by the other toys as their leader and the boy’s number-one toy. But he finds his authority usurped by the arrival of an impressive astronaut figure who goes by the name of Buzz Lightyear. With the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.

Tales From Northumberland with Robson Green (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 23rd December 2013)

Robson Green travels around his home county of Northumberland to discover how this region has played a unique role in shaping the Britain we know today. In the final episode of the series, Robson heads to south-west Northumberland to visit three landmarks which have played a key role in Northumbrian and British history. He begins his journey at Hadrian’s Wall and meets local guide Gary Reed, before camping out overnight by the wall and learning how the Romans completely transformed British culture. His next stop is Kielder Water, the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe, where he talks to Jonty Hall. As a nine-year-old boy, Jonty pressed the button that flooded the valley and created the reservoir. Robson’s final stop is his home town of Hexham, where he finds out about Hexham Abbey’s turbulent past and discovers the secrets of its Anglo-Saxon crypts.

Heston’s Great British Food (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 23rd December 2013)

Heston Blumenthal takes an iconic British dish, revealing the secret history behind its evolution and finding inspiration for an incredible culinary tribute of his own. This time it’s the classic British pudding. Heston heads back to the early 1600s, when the way to make a pudding was to stuff the ingredients into an animal’s intestine. Heston tries a rice pudding recipe which looks like a sausage and creates a pudding that looks like a hot dog that includes a white chocolate mousse bun, pastry fried onions, sweet soy sauce and saffron mustard, and featuring a sausage made with chocolate sponge mince and marshmallow pieces. He makes an 17th century pud involving a cow’s udder; attempts a giant sponge pudding from the Victorian era; and then makes some custard, and serves it to a specially invited group of teachers and dinner ladies.

Toy Story 2 (BBC 1/HD | 3:40pm to 5:10pm | Tuesday 24th December 2013)

Animated comedy sequel following the adventures of a group of toys who come to life when their owner has left the room. When Woody is kidnapped by a toy collector, Buzz Lightyear and the other toys set out in hot pursuit, but soon discover that Woody’s new life and new friends are tempting the cowboy to remain in his new world.

The Snowman and the Snowdog (Channel 4/HD | 7:30pm to 8:05pn | Tuesday 24th December 2013)

A charming animated sequel to Raymond Briggs’s classic The Snowman. When a young boy, Billy, and his mother move house, he discovers a box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shrivelled tangerine – it’s a snowman-making kit! When it begins to snow the child builds a Snowman and, with some spare snow, a Snowdog. That night, at the stroke of midnight, the Snowman and the Snowdog magically come to life! Billy awakes and joins them on an amazing adventure, flying over London and onwards to the North Pole, where they join Snowmen and Snowwomen from around the world.

Toy Story 3 (BBC 1/HD | 3:20pm to 5:00pm | Wednesday 25th December 2013)

Family animation. With their owner Andy leaving home for university, the toys fear for their future. Escaping being accidentally thrown away as rubbish, Buzz and the gang hope to find new playmates at a child care centre. However, they are subject to a sinister system which forces them to suffer at the hands of the most careless kids.

Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 6:15pm to 7:30pm | Wednesday 25th December 2013)

Festive instalment of the period drama. 1958 is drawing to a close as the residents of Poplar prepare for Christmas. Festivities are thrown into chaos when an unexploded bomb is discovered close to Nonnatus House, causing mayhem among the nuns, midwives and residents of Poplar just days before Christmas. Everyone is evacuated from their homes, and the midwives of Nonnatus House are tasked with overseeing the rescue centre until the bomb is made safe. Jenny Lee finds herself drawn into the lives of young couple Yvonne and Alan Bridges, who are expecting their first child. Since fighting in the Korean War, Alan has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and Jenny, with the help of Trixie, becomes instrumental in helping him to overcome his fears. Elsewhere, Shelagh Mannion, formerly Sister Bernadette, and Dr Turner prepare for their understated wedding. But when Timothy is struck down with a potentially fatal illness, their plans are put on hold while they keep vigil at his bedside.

Doctor Who (BBC 1/HD | 7:30pm to 8:30pm | Wednesday 25th December 2013)

Sci-fi drama. Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

Still Open All Hours (BBC 1 /HD | 7:45pm to 8:15pm | Thursday 26th December 2013)

One-off special edition of the much-loved sitcom set in a grocer’s shop. Granville has inherited the shop from his beloved Uncle Arkwright, and now he is assisted by his son Leroy, a good-looking lad with more female admirers than Granville ever had. But if times have changed, some of the customers haven’t, and (retired) Nurse Gladys Emmanuel and the Black Widow are still regulars. As Granville attempts to get a date with old flame Mavis without her terrifying sister Madge finding out, Leroy shuns the old delivery bike and finds a more attractive way to deliver the orders, and a sneaky new plan to shift a lot of anchovy paste has some rather surprising side effects.

Queer as Pop: From the Gay Scene to the Mainstream (Channel 4/HD | 10:55pm to 11:55pm | Friday 27th December 2013)

The first of three programmes tonight around the theme of the importance of the gay scene and its musical icons in pop culture. This documentary charts the men, music and moments that have brought pop music out of the closet and changed the world along the way. Queer as Pop details how the gay clubs and scene have inspired and affected the music mainstream over the last 40 years. This fascinating documentary shows how music has been influenced by the political and social liberation of gay men, charting key events from the repealing of laws banning homosexuality, through to the emergence of the disco era and the David Bowie-inspired New Romantics. Chic’s Nile Rodgers, DJ Paul Oakenfold, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and Erasure’s Andy Bell discuss the evolutionary music scene spanning disco, New Romantics and house, through to Lady Gaga and beyond.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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