UK TV programmes to watch this week : 12/09/2015

Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 7:30pm to 8:00pm | Monday 14th September 2015)

Paul Murton visits the islands lying off the Scottish coast. Thirty miles from mainland Scotland, there is a chain of low-lying islands that face the full might of the Atlantic Ocean: the Uists and Benbecula. On these islands there seems to be more water than land, as a spectacular patchwork of freshwater lochs and pools pockmark the landscape. But it is the unique ecology of these unspoilt islands that makes them so special. Paul’s journey sees him trying his hand at fishing for wild sea trout, uncovering the fascinating story of how South Uist became a missile testing base, and discovering the secrets of the beautiful but deserted tidal island of Vallay.

Canals: The Making of a Nation (BBC 4/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Tuesday 15th September 2015)

Liz McIvor recounts the story of ‘canal mania’, the period of activity that helped develop Britain’s modern financial economy, now centred in London. The canal capitalists, many of whom were part of the emerging middle class, made money by investing in and speculating on the new inland waterways used to carry fuel and goods around the country. The Grand Junction Canal – built to improve the connection between London and the Midlands – was one of the new routes, and eventually proved to be a good investment for shareholders. However, not all canals were profitable.

Grand Designs (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 16th September 2015)

Boat-loving James Strangeways has spent the last 35 years travelling the canals and waterways of Britain. He’s never stayed in one place for more than a few days and he’s never liked houses. Realising it’s time to put down some roots on dry land, he commissions his nephew, architect Ben Hebblethwaite, to build him a home that’s as unhouse-like as possible for a tight budget of £300k. To lure his boat-mad client into a more settled life, Ben designs a house with ship-like qualities. It floats above the marsh on stilts, clad in acres of timber and topped with a roof that looks like the giant keel of a sailing vessel. But it’s the first time Ben has ever built a house from scratch and things take a dramatic turn for the worse when just a few months into the project, the contractor goes into liquidation with £87k of their money! And as the house starts to take shape, James decides to tweak the design in ways that set alarm bells ringing for his young architect.

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 17th September 2015)

George Clarke returns for a brand new series as he follows more people across Britain, finding inventive ways to create beautiful spaces that don’t blow the budget, and can completely transform lives. With unquenchable enthusiasm, architect George Clarke invites viewers to let their imaginations run wild, as he celebrates the extraordinary world of small design spaces and unique builds: secret hideaways, space-saving retreats, eco-friendly bolt holes and reconditioned vehicles. He shows that with careful planning, cunning design and masses of imagination, the apparently unachievable is doable. In this new series George also travels to Germany to discover some of their incredible, ingenious and inspiring designs.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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