UK TV programmes to watch this week : 18/04/2015

Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia - 20-04-2015  (YouView app)Reggie Yates’ Extreme Russia (BBC 3/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 20th April 2015)

In the second of three programmes revealing the extreme side of Russia, Reggie Yates finds out what life is really like for young people in what has been described as the hardest place in Europe to be gay, a year after the introduction of the anti-propaganda law. He travels to St Petersburg for Queerfest, a 10-day arts and culture get-together for the LGBT community. Reggie spends time on both sides of the battle lines – with the Queefest team as they face the daily fight to keep their festival open, and the homophobes who want to see it closed. He also meets Dayra, a young lesbian viciously stabbed and left for dead by homophobes, and activist Kiril who is still fighting back and who shows Reggie how Putin’s repressive laws make it almost impossible to protest without risk of arrest. On the other side, Reggie meets leaders of Orthodox pressure groups like God’s Will, who would stone gays to death if the law allowed it, and Vitali Milonov, the architect of the anti-gay propaganda law.

The Restoration Man (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 22nd April 2015)

George Clarke chooses four of his favourite church conversions from the show, celebrating the creative dreamers brave enough to take on the challenge of restoring them, from a couple who hoped their old fisherman’s church in Devon would bring them together, to a young father whose single-minded dedication to restoring a medieval Welsh chapel almost broke his young family apart. In idyllic rural Cumbria, restoration novices risked financial ruin to transform the village church’s iconic spire, while a couple from Newcastle battled the elements to create a bohemian artistic retreat 400 miles away in the Outer Hebrides.

Secret Britain (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 22nd April 2015)

Series exploring the hidden corners of the UK and revealing landscape secrets. In Scotland, Adam Henson climbs the fearsome, secret side of Ben Nevis and Ellie Harrison probes a monster mystery at the heart of Britain’s deepest water, Loch Morar. The most extraordinary map of Scotland is revealed, overgrown and hidden in the landscape. In the heart of the Highlands, Adam is delighted to discover a cattle ranch that allows him to live out a boyhood dream; while on the Black Isle Ellie visits the mysterious and atmospheric Clootie Well. It’s been a shrine to healing since Celtic times, but why are its ancient rituals still popular today? Together Ellie and Adam also go hunting for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s secret hideaway, a tiny but timeless cave in the very same landscape where commando warfare was invented during the Second World War. And they conclude their journey of discovery with a magical ride on the real Hogwarts Express.

W1A (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 23rd April 2015)

A one-hour special marks the return of the award-winning comedy about the BBC. One year on and head of values Ian Fletcher has finally got his own office. He and the team have a new set of challenges to rise to, including the impending visit of HRH Prince Charles. The question is, which of the management team will get to shake the royal hand? Head of BBC brand Siobhan Sharpe and her team at Perfect Curve have been tasked with giving a makeover to the BBC coverage of Wimbledon following rumours of a bid from a rival broadcaster. Her response is a brand mash-up to end all mash-ups. Meanwhile, over on the creative frontline, entertainment-format producer David Wilkes is trying to come up with the next big factual-entertainment series after Britain’s Tastiest Village failed to fly. He’s got the title – Up Town, Down Town – he just hasn’t got a show. Finally, intern Will Humphries’s security pass won’t let him into the building. Is it a technical problem or something more significant?

The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Thursday 23rd April 2015)

The award-winning gang show returns live to Channel 4 for a hat trick of the usual topical shenanigans, culminating in an election night extravaganza. Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are back to take on the main talking points of the week including all the latest election news. After Alex Brooker fired the starting gun in the race to rid political campaigning of ‘bullshit’ during his hilarious interview with Nick Clegg, the team reunite at this crucial time with their upbeat, unjaundiced brand of satirical comedy. Piers Morgan joins the team for the first of these three special episodes.

Slow Train Through Africa with Griff Rhys-Jones (itv/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 24th April 2015)

Griff Rhys Jones attempts five remarkable train journeys across the world’s most spectacular continent, Africa. In this episode, Griff attempts to zigzag his way across 1,200 miles through Kenya and Tanzania. The journey proves a challenge, with large sections of the railways relics from colonial days. Boarding a vintage steam locomotive built in Glasgow, Griff begins his journey on the high plateau of south west Kenya. Built by the British, this railway became the backbone of a colony and Griff visits a cattle ranch established by an English aristocrat a century ago. The climate of the Kenyan highlands is pleasant enough for Griff to go for a run, and he meets two young athletes who are aiming to compete in major international competitions. In Nairobi, he finds the very railway carriage which was the scene of one of the country’s most gruesome tales – the man-eating lions of Tsavo.

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

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