UK TV programmes to watch this week : 18/01/2014

Speed with Guy Martin - ep 4 (YouView app screenshot)Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 19th January 2014)

Drama about a group of midwives in 1950s London, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. As Jenny struggles to care for exhausted mother Merle Vickers and her two sickly sons, it is Sister Monica Joan who holds the key to the diagnosis of their mystery illness. Meanwhile, Chummy calls on her royal connections for the official opening of the new ante-natal and baby clinic, and Nonnatus House welcomes a new resident, Sister Winifred.

Speed with Guy Martin (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 19th January 2014)

Motorcycle racer and lorry mechanic Guy Martin loves pushing the boundaries of speed in search of a buzz. He claims that nothing can match the adrenaline rush he gets when he’s racing on public roads around the Isle of Man TT course at 200mph. Now he wants to see if he can find anything that can give him the same kick. In this new series, he creates four-speed based challenges, exploring the boundaries of physics and learning about the science of speed. Guy sets out to break the record for the world’s fastest gravity powered sled. With the help of top sports science engineers, athletes and experts in composite engineering, Guy builds a toboggan to ride on the unforgiving slopes of the Pyrenees as he attempts to claim the record from a group of thrill-seeking Germans who set it three years ago.

Don’t Look Down (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Sunday 19th January 2014)

This documentary explores one of the world’s most dangerous and most terrifying new crazes. Urban free climbers are a new breed of daredevils: young men and women who illegally climb cranes and buildings without any safety equipment, then hang from them, hundreds of metres above the ground, one slip from certain death… Having originated in Eastern Europe, urban free climbing has recently spread to Britain. James Kingston is a 23-year-old who lives with his mother near Southampton.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 20th January 2014)

Assisted by his Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton. On this first leg he learns to set table aboard the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth before she sets sail and discovers how Cunard steamers began by transporting post across the Atlantic. He then heads to Netley, where he discovers the remains of an extensive military hospital built by order of Queen Victoria and from there to Basingstoke, where he finds out about a pitched battle between townspeople and the Salvation Army.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 21st January 2014)

Michael Portillo continues his journey from the Hampshire coast to the West Midlands in a distinctly military vein. At Winchfield, he discovers the vast carriage which carried the Duke of Wellington’s coffin to his state funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1852 and hears how the Duke’s chestnut stallion also received full military honours when he was buried at the Duke’s seat, Stratfield Saye. Michael then heads for Farnborough and the army camp at Aldershot, where he joins the regulars to be put through his paces under military instruction. Sanctuary is not far away in Farnborough North at the Benedictine Monastery of St Michael, where Michael visits the tomb of the French Emperor Napoleon III and his family. He ends this second leg of his journey in Crowthorne, where in the year his Bradshaw’s was published, there opened a notorious new institution: England’s first Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Broadmoor.

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 21st January 2014)

Detective drama series set on a Caribbean island. When DI Humphrey Goodman and his team are called to investigate a murder on a film set, they are left baffled when they realise the wrong person has been killed. The team have to work fast to solve the case before the murderer strikes again.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 22nd January 2014)

Steered by his Victorian guidebook, Michael Portillo heads north from the south coast towards the West Midlands. The third leg begins in Wokingham, where Bradshaw’s reports the proprietor of The Times newspaper resided and where he was a great benefactor. Michael finds out how demand from a growing number of rail commuters fuelled the development of the modern printing press and learns how to print on an iron press. He then heads to Newbury, where he encounters a Tudor captain of industry, who manufactured cloth in enormous volumes. Michael’s next destination is Trowbridge, where Sir Isaac Pitman invented his famous shorthand. He ends this leg of the journey in Bradford on Avon, where he hears from a local manufacturer how his Victorian forebears were the first in Britain to be licensed to vulcanise rubber. They supplied springs, buffers and hoses for the locomotive industry and now make rubber suspensions systems for bicycles.

Waterloo Road (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 22nd January 2014)

School-based drama. Gabriella sees a chance to drive a wedge between Imogen and Dynasty’s friendship when she offers to take Imogen on a wild night out. Meanwhile, Simon is busy organising an event to promote the Resilience Camp, but he has forgotten to clear it with a preoccupied Christine.

The Restoration Man (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 22nd January 2014)

Recession-hit builders Ian and Jayne Hall Edwards have brought a five-and-half-thousand square foot derelict Victorian school in the village of Pencader in Carmarthenshire, with the aim to turn it into both a place of business and their family home. Having failed to win a grant to help finance the build, they are left battling through harsh winters while living in a caravan on site, and with their family business hanging in the balance.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 23rd January 2014)

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton beginning today in Chippenham, where at Lacock Abbey he discovers how the world’s first photographic negative was made and learns how to make a print. He travels on to Bristol to visit the Victorian Clifton Zoo, where he finds tigers and polar bears before him also arrived by train. Next stop is Severn Tunnel Junction in Wales, where he explores an extraordinary piece of Victorian engineering with its own pump house pumping out millions of gallons a day to keep it dry. Michael then heads for Gloucester to find out why the station became infamous for lost luggage. At the city’s cathedral, Michael meets a stonemason who bravely invites him to chip away.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 23rd January 2014)

Forensic crime drama series. When the body of a pregnant Northern Irish girl is discovered, the team face the urgent task of finding the baby snatched from her womb. The child’s father, married man Simon, is the prime suspect in DS Sally Kirchner’s eyes. Meanwhile, Thomas uncovers the teenage girl’s connections to a criminal underworld. Nikki and Jack encounter her addict boyfriend Nuri and ruthless drug dealer Bekir, suspected of masterminding the killing of a Drugs Squad cop. The dead detective’s partner, DI John Brooke, is out to avenge his colleague’s murder.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 24th January 2014)

On the final leg of his journey from Southampton to Wolverhampton, Michael Portillo’s first destination is the elegant spa town of Cheltenham, where he discovers a very early locomotive carriage which ran not on rails but on the road and is lucky enough to get behind the wheel. His next stop is the medieval town of Tewkesbury, scene of a grisly battle during the Wars of the Roses. Armour-plated and sword at the ready, Michael joins a group of re-enactors for a taste of the action.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 24th January 2014)

Forensic crime drama series. Martin, the sole eyewitness in the murder case, is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Threatened by an angry Bekir, Nuri grows increasingly desperate to find the missing drugs, with tragic consequences. Nikki helps grieving William come to terms with his daughter Alice’s death and his missing baby granddaughter. Under pressure from his wife Ellie, DI John Brooke finally comes face-to-face with his nemesis, drug dealer Bekir. However, Jack’s growing frustration over DI Brooke’s meddling in the case unearths a new line of enquiry.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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