UK TV programmes to watch this week : 30/01/2016

The Secret Life of the Zoo - 02-02-2016 - YouView appCall the Midwife (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 31st January 2016)

A outbreak of typhoid erupts, and suspicion over who the carrier could be threatens to break apart a closely knit family. Sister Winfred faces a personal dilemma when a local teacher is revealed to be pregnant by a married man. When the woman takes matters into her own hands, Sister Winifred is forced to consider the role her own prejudices may have played. Meanwhile, Barbara inadvertently agrees to go to dinner with Tom, but is wracked with worry about how Trixie will react.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 1st February 2016)

Michael Portillo rides the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879. Michael begins his American odyssey in New York City. Starting at Grand Central Terminal, the ‘gateway to the nation’, he boards the Manhattan subway system, the busiest rail transit system in the US. His first stop is the Rockefeller Centre, where he gets a bird’s eye view of Manhattan Island and learns how about the technology which enabled the city to build up. Portillo heads to the Financial District, where, over a Lobster Newberg, he finds out how the dodgy political dealings of the era’s famous industrialists earned them the nickname ‘Robber Barons’. He observes their better side at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as he learns that philanthropy helped the city’s burgeoning art scene, before finishing his journey midtown, among the bright lights of Broadway.

Griff’s Great Britain (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 1st February 2016)

Griff Rhys Jones sets out to explore some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes. In this episode, Griff looks at the British passion for being beside the sea, visiting a unique stretch of the British coastline. Beginning at the historic North Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, he then travels up to the picturesque port of Whitby for some ghostly adventures.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 1st February 2016)

The Lyell team investigate the shooting of a family who were picnicking by the river. DCI Butcher, leading the investigation, soon focuses on the female victim’s estranged husband. However, DS Guillam, a local detective working on the case, is haunted by the death of a young woman near the river ten years ago and sees an opportunity to redeem himself. A medical registrar is reminded of the same death a decade ago – the victim was her friend – and she is forced to confront the high-powered people she has been trying desperately to forget.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 2nd February 2016)

Michael Portillo rides the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879. Michael continues his American journey in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he narrowly avoids a scrap with an historic gang of New York and visits the grim tenement buildings where thousands of the city’s immigrants lived and worked. In the West Side, Michael discovers how a once lethal run of track has been transformed into a public park, raised above the city streets. Forsaking the rails for a ferry, Michael heads for Ellis Island, where some 12 million immigrants entered America. Michael is given a privileged tour of the gleaming new transport hub under construction close to the site of Ground Zero.

The Secret Life of the Zoo (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 2nd February 2016)

This new series reveals the secret life of the animals of Chester Zoo, Britain’s most popular zoo, using new micro-rig technology to capture in incredible detail the remarkable behaviour of the animals and their close relationships with their keepers. In the first episode, the zoo’s Asian elephant family welcome a new arrival. Grumpy matriarch Thi has been pregnant for almost two years and is reaching the end of her tether. She’s given birth to a stillborn baby in the past, so the keepers have a close eye on her. Not everyone in the family is looking forward to the birth. Playful Hari, the youngest member of the herd, is feeling left out. No longer the golden child, he starts acting up, taking his frustrations out on grandmother Sithami.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 2nd February 2016)

As DCI Butcher moves closer to charging the estranged husband of the family killed at the picnic, Jack and Nikki join DS Guillam in search of the truth. The team begin to realise they may have been looking down the wrong end of the telescope, and their lives are thrown into mortal danger. Soon enough, they are thrust into an unexpected and depraved world, and further murders are discovered. Jack and Nikki must fight to escape and bring those responsible to justice. Meanwhile, Amy’s dark past begins to catch up with her and she must decide whether to keep it buried or confront it head-on, risking her medical career and everything else in order to escape her demons. Amy’s nightmare and the Lyell’s investigation begin to converge. And when the crimes are linked to people in very high places, the team experience the difficulty of bringing the rich and powerful to justice.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 3rd February 2016)

Michael Portillo rides the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879. From Manhattan, Michael follows his Appleton’s Guide east, travelling on the Long Island Railroad. He begins in Brooklyn, where he learns the incredible story behind the world’s first steel suspension bridge. Divided by a common language, Michael struggles to order a pizza before continuing to Queens and the site of an ambitious engineering project that will transform New York City’s rail network. Moving east through Long Island, he visits one of the country’s most decadent mansions, owned by an oil tycoon known as Mr Monopoly, where he gets into a flap dancing the Charleston, before ending his journey on Long Island’s eastern most tip at New York’s first lighthouse.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 4th February 2016)

Michael Portillo rides the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879. Michael follows America’s mighty Hudson River north, riding on the United States’ national rail carrier service, Amtrak. He learns from Amtrak’s police chief about some of the nation’s most infamous train robbers, then upriver at Tarrytown, he is spooked by the stories of one of America’s greatest writers, Washington Irving, author of Sleepy Hollow. On the east bank of the Hudson, he stops at Garrison, site of many guerrilla battles during the Wars of Independence, where he hears about the greatest turncoat in American history and learns about the many famous military leaders who trained at West Point.

Cats v Dogs: Which is Best? (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 4th February 2016)

Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin battle it out to find the definitive answer to the burning question – which are best, cats or dogs? Based at one of Britain’s largest cat and dog veterinary centres, Chris and Liz test different aspects of each animal. Round one tests whether either species can understand numbers. In Vienna, Chris discovers that dogs can discriminate between higher and lower numbers of dots and Liz tries out the test on cats with surprising results. Round two tests which animal has the better vision, sense of smell and hearing. Chris challenges sniffer dog Boris to find him in a busy city. The final round looks at whether cats or dogs are the most physically agile by testing which can jump the highest, which is the fastest sprinter and which the best endurance runner. Chris also comes face to face with a pack of wolves whilst Liz confronts an Arabian wild cat. Together, they put our favourite pets under the microscope to see how they compare.

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm 1o 10:00pm | Thursday 4th February 2016)

DI Goodman’s aunt Mary comes to visit him, but things take an unexpected turn when she becomes the only witness to the murder of a tourist. Some unorthodox advice on love from Dwayne leaves JP in a spin.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 5th February 2016)

Michael Portillo rides the railroads of America, armed with Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, published in 1879. Michael Portillo continues his railroad journey through New York State following his Appleton’s Guide. Beginning in the city of Poughkeepsie, he visits a famous all-female university, alma mater of Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep. He discovers the tumultuous history of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge and follows the train line up to the Catskill Mountains, admiring its picturesque scenery from an altogether different type of line – a zip wire. Back on safe ground, he discovers that the dramatic landscape inspired artists of the Hudson River School. Arriving in New York’s state capital, Albany, he samples a drop of Albany Ale before rubbing shoulders with the State Senator.

Landward Special – The Great Scottish Flood (BBC 1 Scotland & BBC iPlayer only | 7:30pm to 8:00pm | Friday 5th February 2016)

A special edition of Scotland’s countryside magazine. Dougie Vipond and the team meet the homeowners, landowners and farmers who bore the brunt of this winter’s extreme flooding. They ask what can be done to protect people from such dramatic damage ever again.

Shetland (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 5th February 2016)

The murder investigation takes Perez and Tosh to Glasgow as they try to uncover the reasons behind Maguire’s brutal death and his connection to Robbie Morton. But old ghosts return to haunt Perez as his enemies try to prevent him from getting to the truth.

Walks Around Britain (Community Channel | 9:00pm to 9:30pm | Friday 5th February 2016)

Series featuring inspirational walks from around Britain. Andrew White walks above and alongside 2 large bodies of water – Ladybower Reservoir and Windermere.

The Last Leg Goes Down Under (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:10pm | Friday 5th February 2016)

Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker – hosts of the award-winning The Last Leg – head to the Australian wilderness for the ultimate outback road trip. Adam plots his revenge after four years of verbal abuse from English co-hosts Josh and Alex about his home country, Australia with the help of blind adventure travel guide Amar Latif. In the concluding show, having driven the length of the Northern Territory, the lads have one week to get from the opal mining town of Coober Pedy to Sydney in time to meet Adam’s 97-year-old grandfather. En route they try mining for opals, survive dressing in drag in an edgy town, hunt wild boars and go the full ‘Mad Max’. Josh and Alex are struggling with Adam’s transformation from mildly Aussie suburbanite to the most Australian thing since Mick Dundee and his attempts to Aussie-up the pair of them. Will their matey rapport survive the arduous journey or is this the last straw for The Last Leg?

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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