UK TV programmes to watch this week : 25/01/2014

Inside the animal mind ep1 (YouView app screenshot)Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 26th January 2014)

Drama about a group of midwives in 1950s London, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Jenny is delighted to be promoted to acting sister, but she soon finds herself dealing with her most challenging case yet. Elsewhere, Cynthia spearheads a new birthing practice for the expectant mothers of Poplar, Sister Winifred puts her green-fingered skills to good use, and Chummy continues to juggle her work and home lives.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 27th January 2014)

Guided by his 19th century Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey from Norwich to Chichester. On this first leg he explores Norwich’s medieval heart. In the city’s Norman castle he uncovers the Victorian public’s gory fascination with crime and punishment and finds out how campaigners such as Elizabeth Fry, who was born in Norwich, worked to improve conditions for prisoners. At the city’s livestock market, Michael learns how to buy a calf at auction with a subtle twitch of his guidebook before heading west to Thetford to explore the rabbit warrens of the Brecks. He discovers how the Victorian appetite for rabbits and their fur led to special train services to London, known as Bunny Trains. After a painful encounter with a polecat, Michael heads northwest to Brandon, home of some of the best quality flint in Britain and tries his hand at flint-knapping.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 28th January 2014)

Michael Portillo continues his journey from the east coast to the south coast beginning in the port of Ipswich, capital of the farming county of Suffolk. His first port of call is an agricultural implement works with its own railway sidings. Michael investigates what could have earned the Victorian manufacturer a special mention in his Bradshaw’s. Continuing his journey south west into Essex Michael dredges oysters off Mersea Island before taking the train to Witham, where he discovers a model farming establishment at Tiptree. His final destination is Chelmsford and the world’s first purpose-built radio equipment factory, established by Guglielmo Marconi.

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 28th January 2014)

Detective drama series set on a Caribbean island. The murder of a local gigolo brings DI Goodman and his team into contact with the social elite of Saint Marie. The case proves particularly hard-hitting for Fidel, as the death of his old school friend forces him to face up to some past mistakes.

Inside the Animal Mind (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 28th January 2014)

Chris Packham travels the world to uncover the secrets of the animal mind. He starts off by exploring the remarkable ways animals use their senses. Focusing on dogs, he discovers how their powerful sense of smell creates a bizarre alternative reality.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 29th January 2014)

Steered by his Bradshaw’s, Michael Portillo heads along the Essex bank of the Thames before crossing the river into the Garden of England, Kent. He begins this leg at Barkingside, where a Victorian philanthropist called Dr Thomas Barnardo made it his life’s work to transform the lives of destitute children. From Upminster Michael takes the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway to Tilbury and finds out how the line and the old station transformed the town into one of the country’s most important ports. At the docks, Michael tries his hand at loading a container on to a pocket wagon. Over the river at Gravesend Michael discovers how one of Queen Victoria’s favourite army officers, General Gordon, left his mark on the town. Michael’s last destination on this leg is Rochester, where he encounters a host of familiar characters and explores the city which was home to one of the Victorian era’s greatest writers, Charles Dickens.

Waterloo Road (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 29th January 2014)

School-based drama. George is caught off guard when his meddling mother shows up at the school unexpectedly. Lenny takes matters into his own hands when he suspects a local shopkeeper of people trafficking.

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

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Norwich to Chichester beginning in Faversham in Kent, at one of the country’s oldest surviving breweries, Shepherd Neame. Michael discovers how the brewery invested heavily in the railways and even ran rolling stock with its own smart livery taking beer to London. After making his own delivery to the Railway Tavern in one of the brewery’s oldest vehicles, Michael heads for the south coast to the defensive town of Dover, little more than 25 miles from the historic enemy, the French. Here he uncovers one of Dover’s best kept secrets, the sunken fortress known as the Western Heights. In the Weald of Kent, Michael finds out how the railways helped to put Tonbridge School on track for cricketing glory before heading into Surrey where he blow-dries a hen in Dorking!

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 30th January 2014)

Forensic crime drama series. Following the shocking discovery of a 15-year-old girl’s body, DI Dale Carter fixates on his prime murder suspect, Ryan Kelvin. However, Jack’s personal connection to Ryan presents a conflict of interests, leading Thomas to replace him on the case with forensic scientist Helen Ferguson. But in his quest for the truth, Jack is instinctively drawn into the investigation, alienating him from Nikki and the team. Hannah, the distraught best friend of the victim, becomes consumed with grief and guilt over the murder, leading her to take drastic action.

Dan Snow’s History of the Winter Olympics (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 30th January 2014)

Historian Dan Snow looks back at 90 years of the Winter Olympics and shows how the political upheaval of the 20th and 21st century had an impact on the Games. He embarks on an epic journey across nine countries meeting some of the key people who helped shape the Winter Games. He tells the disturbing story of the Winter Olympics in Nazi Germany, the tense Olympic rivalry between East and West during the cold war, ending with the Miracle on Ice and the unforgettable Olympics in Sarajevo.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 31st January 2014)

On the final leg of his journey between the cathedral cities of Norwich and Chichester, Michael Portillo discovers the history behind the extraordinary Pavilion at Brighton and learns that Queen Victoria was not an admirer of the Prince Regent’s flamboyant taste. Michael finds that while above ground the railways brought day trippers to frolic in fashionable Brighton, underground, Victorian engineers built a magnificent network of sewers more than 40 miles in length, which are still functioning today. At Bramber, he discovers at the time of his guide tourists flocked to the town in huge numbers due to a Victorian museum of taxidermy. Michael’s next stop is the impressive castle at Arundel and he’s pleased to find that the Duke of Norfolk was a great supporter of the railways. His rail journey ends in Chichester from where he heads up into the South Downs for a taste of life in the fast lane at Goodwood.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 31st January 2014

Forensic crime drama series. Jack’s world is blown apart by the discovery of Hannah’s dead body. Nikki uncovers the truth behind Jack and Ryan’s strained relationship, but Jack’s attempts to find evidence put his job at risk. While an angry Thomas wrestles with hiring forensic scientist Helen as Jack’s permanent replacement, Dr Christy Nash fears for his marriage and business when DI Carter learns of his relationship with 15-year-old Katie. As Jack’s suspicion of Ryan grows, his lone investigation puts him in grave danger and life will never be the same again.

The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 10:50pm | Friday 31st January 2014)

The award-winning gang show returns live to Friday nights with a joyful, offbeat take on the week. Returning as host is 2013 British Comedy Award winner Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. The trio take a look at the weird and wonderful talking points of the week including the stories and highlights from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Each week, Adam, Josh and Alex are joined by a live studio audience and a weekly special celebrity guest. The show also sees the return of the all-encompassing question: Is It OK? Viewers at home and the studio audience are encouraged to ask this question about anything from the week, without fear of judgement, and the three hosts attempt to step into the minefield of sometimes difficult and delicate areas and answer the questions with their own unique insight.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.

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