UK TV programmes to watch this week : 13/08/2016

Great Canal Journeys (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 17th August 2016)

Timothy West and Prunella Scales embark on more spectacular canal journeys. This time they travel to Venice. The journey begins 14 miles west of Venice on the Brenta, a river that was first canalised in the 13th century. Lined with palaces that were once holiday homes for Venetian nobility, they follow the route that Casanova and Lord Byron took to the city. After crossing the Venetian lagoon, Tim and Pru arrive at St Mark’s Square, where they escape the busy Grand Canal and discover the tranquillity and beauty of the smaller canals that tourists rarely see. Their journey’s end is on the marshy island of Torcello, the place where Venice began.

Skies Above Britain (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 17th August 2016)

Flying into Danger. The first episode explores how our skies are safeguarded. Air traffic controllers deal with an unidentified aircraft flying across Gatwick’s flight path, and the RAF scramble a typhoon jet to intercept an unresponsive plane. We follow the RAF pilots training to fly Britain’s front-line combat aircraft. Trainees face a gruelling series of tests, including being subject to high gravitational forces in a centrifuge and experiencing rapid air decompression and training for emergency scenarios. In Humberside, the helicopter crews of HM Search and Rescue are often the only aircraft that fly when the skies are treacherous. We follow the crew on a dangerous mountain rescue, flying through thick fog to reach an injured hiker. Elsewhere, two vintage plane enthusiasts explore their continued passion for flight, despite having faced personal tragedy in the air.

Full Steam Ahead (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 18th August 2016)

Historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn explore how the Victorian railways created modern Britain. The team head to the South Devon Railway to explore the life of the branch line before the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Ruth discovers how the railways came to the rescue when a deadly disease wiped out almost the entire stock of London cattle. After undergoing an eyesight test, Victorian-style, Peter joins the footplate crew on the South Devon line. We meet Dave Knowling, a steam-engine driver who shows Peter how it is done and why it is so important to keep one eye closed when shovelling coal. Working on the Victorian railways was dangerous – 500 lost their lives and 16,000 were injured in one year alone. Ruth discovers those who lost limbs on the Great Western Railway were catered for by a special prosthetic limbs workshop. Alex and Peter take a trip to Strathspey Railway and find out about one of Scotland’s most lucrative exports.

Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 19th August 2016)

After months scouring the country for the most ingenious and eccentric sheds, the overall winner of Shed of the Year 2016 is announced. But first there are two more categories to explore. The Budget category includes a colourful beach house made for just £20 and a shed that actually earned its owner £100 in profit. The Cabins and Summerhouses group features a classic van and a dream structure in an allotment. Next, George and his fellow judges must choose one shed from all the category winners across the series to crown as the overall winner.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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