UK TV programmes to watch this week : 15/03/2014

Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I’m Gay (YouView app screenshot)Top Gear (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 16th March 2014)

Special edition of the motoring magazine show. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are battling across Burma in three ancient and barely functioning lorries. Having forded rivers, climbed mountains and endured a Burmese trucker stop, they must now venture into the Shan state, an area rife with civil war and normally closed to western TV crews, as they head towards Thailand and their final challenge – to build a bridge over the River Kwai.

Harry’s South Pole Heroes (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 16th March 2014)

Two-part documentary following the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge 2013. In the first part, four wounded British soldiers led by Prince Harry prepare to take on teams from the USA and the Commonwealth in a 200 km race to the South Pole. All sustained life-changing injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brothers and sisters in arms on the battlefield, they now prepare to race each other through some of the harshest conditions on the planet. The UK team are the underdogs as they train in Iceland and struggle to get race fit. Then time in a giant deep freeze more usually used to test cars gives the five Brits some inkling of what to expect in the Antarctic. Not even last-minute words of advice from Prince Harry’s grandparents, as they are joined by their American, Canadian and Australian comrades at Buckingham Palace, can fully prepare the teams for the stark reality of what lies ahead.

The Adventure Show (BBC 2 Scotland & BBC iPlayer only | 7:00pm to 8:00pm | Monday 17th March 2014)

In this month’s programme, the team head north of Inverness for the Strathpuffer 24, one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races, which takes place in the middle of winter and 17 hours of darkness. This year’s race has attracted over 500 competitors, who are pushing themselves and their bikes to the limit. The team also join the man they call the ‘moonwalker’, who likes to explore the hills of Scotland in the dark. In contrast, Cameron McNeish enjoys the hills during the short daylight winter hours, and there is a visit to one of the coldest and most extreme places in the world, where some intrepid Scots are blazing a trail.

Shetland (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 18th March 2014)

Crime drama set on the remote Scottish islands. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez believes he and his team are finally closing in on the killer as they discover what 17-year-old Catherine Ross was hiding from everyone in the hours before her death.

An Hour to Save Your Life (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 18th March 2014)

Medical science series exploring the life or death decisions facing doctors in the first critical hour of emergency care. Including 360-degree access to specialist clinicians both at the scene and in the hospital, plus candid testimony from the medics themselves. In this episode, medics fight to save the lives of motorcyclist Vincent, who has been critically injured on a country road; 77-year-old Gudrun, who is rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke; and Ben, a young tree surgeon who has fallen 20 feet onto the pavement.

Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I’m Gay (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:00pm | Tuesday 18th March 2014)

In this one-off documentary Dr Christian Jessen goes undercover to both investigate and undertake controversial gay ‘cures’ in both the UK and the USA. Christian is shocked to find that there are people who believe that homosexuality is a disorder which should be cured; as well as a growing number of therapists and self-styled healers who believe that homosexuality is a curable illness. He sets out to prove or disprove their claims by offering himself up as a suitable case for treatment. As a doctor who also happens to be gay, Christian is keen to find out what’s on offer for people who are uncomfortable with their sexual orientation and desperate for change. He wants to discover whether or not these ‘cures’ are effective by trying them on himself.

Keeping Britain Safe 24/7 (BBC 1/HD | 10:35pm to 11:35pm | Tuesday 18th March 2014)

Series meeting the everyday heroes who keep Britain safe, battling the unexpected challenges that unfold with each passing season. Julia Bradbury and Matt Allwright meet the engineers in Scotland restoring power after the worst spring storms in years, and go behind the scenes at the largest trauma centre in the Midlands as the team field the rise of sporting injuries in spring. Plus a report on the team at the largest blood processing facility in the world.

Who Needs Ibiza? The Great British Holiday (BBC 3/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 19th March 2014)

Series following the efforts of the owners, the Toms family, and their dedicated team of young staff as they try to overcome a string of wet, recession-hit summers and make 2013 a roaring success at their 18-30s campsite in Woolacombe, Devon. After being hit by one of the worst storms in decades, the Europa campsite is suffering a worrying mid-season slump. To make matters worse, key managers Joey and Vicki have fallen out. With the all-important bumper bank holiday weekend approaching, it’s critical that the team pull together and bring in the cash. They need a record-breaking theme night that’s literally out of this world.

W1A (BBC 2/HD | 10:00pm to 10:30pm | Wednesday 19th March 2014)

Comedy sequel to Twenty Twelve. With the London games successfully delivered, Ian Fletcher starts a new chapter in his life as head of values at the BBC. Ian’s first challenge is to find somewhere to sit in a building aggressively over-designed around the principle of not having a desk. Ian finds himself holding the hottest of hot potatoes when Mebyan Kernow activist Nigel Trescott complains that Cornwall and the Cornish are shamefully under-represented on the BBC. Things get worse when BBC Spotlight South West presenter Sally Wingate goes public with her feeling that her failure to progress to a national presenting role might be part of the BBC’s institutionally anti-Cornish bias. PR company Perfect Curve’s Siobhan Sharpe comes up with some interesting ideas of how best to limit the damage. Meanwhile, producer Lucy Freeman is having meetings with head of output Anna Rampton and entertainment format creative David Wilkes about a forthcoming new flagship show.

Storyville (BBC 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:00pm | Wednesday 19th March 2014)

Documentary exploring one of Japan’s biggest train crashes in modern history, caused when a driver tried to catch up with a delay of just 80 seconds. It’s a cautionary tale of what happens when punctuality, protocol and efficiency are taken to the extreme. On Monday April 25th 2005, a West Japan Railway commuter train crashed into an apartment building and killed 107 people. Just what pressures made the driver risk so much for such a minimal delay? Piecing together personal accounts of those affected by the train crash, with insights from experts and former train drivers, the film poses a question for a society that equates speed with progress. It offers a fascinating insight into the railway’s role in Japan’s post-war economic boom and the dangers of corner-cutting in the prolonged economic stagnation that followed. Through the lens of this catastrophic train crash, Brakeless considers the ultimate cost efficiency.

Davina – Beyond Breaking Point for Sport Relief (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 20th March 2014)

Documentary telling the inside story of Davina McCall’s challenge to raise money for Sport Relief, with exclusive behind the scenes access. The film follows Davina through highs and lows as she swims, cycles and runs from Edinburgh to London – 500 miles in 7 days. Davina’s husband, her parents and best friend provide a unique insight into Davina’s battle to overcome the toughest Sport Relief challenge yet. Spending 17 hours on the bike on the first day alone, Davina fights extreme fatigue and fearsome weather conditions.

The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 10:50pm | Friday 21st March 2014)

The final edition in the current series from the award-winning gang show live on Friday night with a joyful, offbeat take on the week. British Comedy Award winner Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by Frank Skinner to take a look at the weird and wonderful talking points of the week including the stories and highlights from the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The show also includes the regular feature: 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 —

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