UK TV programmes to watch this week : 24/01/2015

Top Gear - 25-01-2015 (YouView app) Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 25th January 2015)

Drama about a group of midwives in 1950s London, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Barbara faces her most challenging case to date when she treats first-time mother Abigail Bissette and the birth does not go according to plan. As Sister Julienne struggles with the increasing financial pressure on Nonnatus House, a mystery benefactor comes to the rescue. Elsewhere Sister Evangelina is unimpressed by newly arrived nurse Phyllis Crane.

Top Gear (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 25th January 2015)

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are in Russia for an incredible race across the vast and beautiful urban landscape of St Petersburg. With their chosen methods of transportation – a tiny Renault, a bicycle and a hovercraft – they race each other and The Stig, who is silently making his way towards the finish line on public transport, across town. Hammond also heads to the test track to find out if the dramatic new Lamborghini Huracan is as flamboyant and fun as an Italian supercar should be. Plus, another top celebrity guest tests their steely eyed driving skills as the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 26th January 2015)

Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey from west Wales to East Anglia. Beginning at Pembroke Dock, Michael visits the dockyard where Queen Victoria’s royal yachts were built. He investigates what caused riotous rebels to dress up as women in Narberth and spends the night at an inn in Carmarthen, where Admiral Lord Nelson once met Lady Emma Hamilton. After flagging down the steam train to ride on the Carmarthen-to-Aberystwyth railway, Michael pitches in with the volunteers who look after the Gwili heritage line. In Swansea, on the estate of one of the pioneers of British photography, Michael learns how to pose for a photograph in Victorian style.

The Mountain (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 7:30pm to 8:00pm | Monday 26th January 2015)

Series charting life around Cairngorm, at the heart of Scotland’s greatest winter wilderness. In this edition the new year starts with some of the biggest snowstorms for years and the team on the mountain face a major struggle to keep it open. Burns Night means a busy time for Spud the piper and Fraser the butcher. And the mountain men take part in a 24-hour endurance race.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 26th January 2015)

Forensic crime drama series. A shootout at a City hotel leaves young Ukrainian nanny Sofia Teplov dead, along with an unknown hitman. The Russian oligarch target Maksim Bazhanov narrowly escapes. Nikki and Jack work with young City DI Sarah Parks to ascertain the identity of the dead hitman and find out who is trying to kill Bazhanov and why. Jack is drawn to Sarah, impressed by her ability to juggle work and family when he finds out her daughter has a rare childhood cancer. The discovery of the hitmen’s identities as ex-army frustrates the team when they realise they could have been hired by any number of paymasters.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 27th January 2015)

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Pembroke Dock to Cambridge. On this leg, he begins in the ruinous gardens at Aberglasney in Llandeilo before riding shotgun in the driver’s cab on the Heart of Wales Line on one of the most scenic routes in Britain. En route, Michael learns about the Victorian signalling system still in place today and struggles with his Welsh pronunciation. Over the border in Leominster, Michael steps out on to the dance floor at the Lion Hotel Ballroom, where a grand ball was held to celebrate the opening of the Ludlow to Hereford railway. He finishes this leg of his journey at a traditional cider house in Hereford, where he is invited to enjoy the fruits of his labour.

Alex Polizzi: The Fixer (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 27th January 2015)

Alex Polizzi, champion of small businesses, finds fixes for the critical issues that kill so many companies. In this episode, Alex helps a seaside business struggling with change. In 2012, Marlene and Ray Messer followed their seaside dream and bought the Singing Kettle tearooms in Torquay. But seaside business has changed enormously over the years and their cafe has taken a turn for the worse. Alex visits luxury bakery Konditor and Cook to investigate what today’s cake-buying customer desires. Can she get the Singing Kettle to brush off the cobwebs of a bygone coastal era and learn to identify a new target market?

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 27th January 2015)

Forensic crime drama series. A young woman working for the Doshi property moguls, Amy Greenwood, is found dead in Maksim Bazhanov’s apartment. Maksim is discovered to have been in a relationship with Yasmin Doshi. Nikki, Jack and Thomas ingeniously prove that foul play was involved in Amy’s death and help the police find the missing Bazhanov. Amy’s mother Justine is a powerful player in the City Assembly and, fuelled by the death of her daughter, she puts pressure on DI Sarah Parks’s investigation. Suspicion soon falls on Adam Lansley of FreeLondon, a violent activist known to target the super-rich. But Maksim is a powerful man with many enemies, and the team find one of them where they least expect it.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 28th January 2015)

Armed with his Bradshaw’s guidebook, Michael Portillo makes his way from west Wales across Britain to Cambridge. On this leg, he begins underground at Big Pit coal mine in Blaenavon, where he learns how Victorians toiled night and day to power the industrial revolution. On the River Usk, Michael casts a line and learns about nineteenth-century developments in angling. On rebellious turf in Ascott-under-Wychwood, Michael discovers the Ascott Martyrs and lends a hand ploughing on the farm where they struck their early blow for labourers’ rights. Michael’s last stop today is Hanborough and Blenheim Palace, where he investigates a fire described in his Bradshaw’s which is said to have claimed some risque art.

The Restoration Man (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 28th January 2015)

After living in a bungalow for 25 years, Yorkshire couple Carol and Majid Nadry embark on an ambitious mid-life adventure: buying an empty brick water tower to turn into a five-storey home. As they battle with the huge rusting water tank on top of the building, they encounter devastating legal problems. Unexpected costs hit their budget, but the couple refuse to give up on turning the faceless brick monolith into a one-off design. George encourages and advises Carol and Majid to see their daunting challenge through, and details the seismic changes in architectural history that this building’s humble appearance conceals.

Churchill: The Nation’s Farewell (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 28th January 2015)

On the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death, Jeremy Paxman tells the story of his state funeral and examines whether Churchill’s immense legacy still has resonance today. He meets a wide range of people who were involved in the events of that day, from soldiers who bore the coffin, to members of Churchill’s close family. He hears from Boris Johnson, author of a new book on Churchill, and from a London docker who remembers that some of the dock workers had misgivings about saluting the passing coffin with their cranes as it passed down the Thames on a launch after the ceremony at St Paul’s. The funeral ended at the village churchyard of Bladon where Churchill was laid to rest alongside his father, Randolph. At the close of the film, Paxman reflects that no statesman has come close to rivalling Winston Churchill in the half a century since the nation mourned his passing.

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 29th January 2015)

When a bride-to-be is killed on the last night of her hen party, DI Goodman tries to unravel a seemingly impossible murder. Meanwhile Camille has a big decision to make.

Cucumber (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 29th January 2015)

Sixteen years after Queer as Folk exploded on to the screen, award-winning writer Russell T Davies returns with Cucumber, Banana and Tofu; three new interlinked shows for Channel 4, E4 and online. Cucumber and Banana are two original drama series exploring the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life, while Tofu is an online documentary series that explores all facets of contemporary sex culture. In the second episode, Henry begins his new life, but Freddie marks out the battle lines – can they ever be friends, let alone anything more? Lance tries to work out where Henry’s gone, and enlists Cleo’s help, but only Cliff is devious enough to work out the truth – and when Henry’s workplace becomes a battleground, the stakes are raised higher than ever.

Banana (E4 | 10:00pm to 10:35pm | Thursday 29th January 2015)

Sixteen years after Queer as Folk exploded on to the screen, award-winning writer Russell T Davies returns with Cucumber, Banana and Tofu; three new interlinked shows for Channel 4, E4 and online. Cucumber and Banana are two original drama series exploring the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life, while Tofu is an online documentary series that explores all facets of contemporary sex culture. On E4, Banana is a series of eight witty, heartfelt and unique stand-alone stories covering different aspects of LGBT life. This series, which features exciting and emerging talent from the fields of acting, writing and directing, offers an intriguing and often unexpected peek into the individual lives, loves and losses of a range of diverse characters. In the second episode, when Scotty sees Yvonne, it’s love at first sight. But as love turns to obsession, Scotty’s life spirals out of control…

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 30th January 2015)

On the final leg of his journey from west Wales to East Anglia, Michael Portillo begins in Oakham, where he learns of a noble tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Following in the footsteps of peers over the centuries, he determines to take part. Heading east to Stamford, Michael discovers why the town is such an attractive location for period dramas and takes part in a Victorian melodrama. A ghoulish scene awaits in Peterborough as Michael visits a Victorian operating theatre where railwaymen were treated. Michael’s last stop on this final journey is Christ’s College at Cambridge University, where he learns about the student days of the father of evolution, Charles Darwin.

The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Friday 30th January 2015)

After promising to appear on the show during a previous episode, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is a special guest, along with Miranda Hart, who joins Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker to review the main talking points of the week with irreverence and satire. The show sees the return of the all-encompassing question: Is It Ok? Viewers at home and the studio audience are encouraged to ask questions about anything from the week, without fear of judgement. Once again, our three hosts step into the minefield of sometimes difficult and delicate areas to answer the questions with their own inimitable insight.

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

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