Following in the footsteps of WH Auden’s classic 1936 documentary Night Mail, six of Britain’s best poets take the train from London to Glasgow, discovering stories of love, loss and longing among the passengers today, and capturing the journey in verse. Maxine Peake narrates.
Speed with Guy Martin (Channel 4/HD 7:30pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 2nd October 2016)
Guy Martin wants to beat the 25-year-old speed record for a human-powered boat. It means pedalling a specially-built boat along a 100-metre course at an average speed of 21mph: a speed normally reserved for expensive speedboats or racing yachts. It’s Guy’s most physically and technically challenging record attempt yet, so he employs the services of two Olympic legends: Sir Chris Hoy trains Guy like an Olympic cyclist, and Sir Ben Ainslie hands over the helm of one of his multi-million-pound America’s Cup yachts to demonstrate the cutting-edge technology of hydrofoils: underwater wings that help a boat fly across water. Guy then builds two different machines that use hydrofoils: a carbon-fibre catamaran made with help from the University of Lincoln, and a canoe fitted with a giant aeroplane propeller, assembled in his own back garden.
Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 7:30pm to 8:00pm | Monday 3rd October 2016)
Paul Murton visits the islands lying off the Scottish coast. In this episode, Paul crosses the great natural harbour of Scapa Flow to the island of Flotta, before heading round the main island of Orkney to Stronsay, and from there travelling north to the stunning beaches of Sanday. Along the way, Paul discovers stories of World War One, a mysterious beast and Orkney Selkies.
Homes by the Sea (more4 | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 4th October 2016)
Charlie Luxton heads to one of the birthplaces of the classic British holiday resort: Sussex. The tour starts in Eastbourne and continues to a luxury mansion in Aldwick, close to Bognor Regis. He visits a quirky bohemian cottage in Cuckmere Haven that’s off the grid and an upside down house in Shoreham. There’s also a striking café in Littlehampton, the fisherman’s huts of Hastings, and a stylish pad in St Leonards, including a circular bed.
Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 5th October 2016)
Penelope Keith travels to North Yorkshire, England’s largest county, and the heart of a region that’s long been billed as ‘God’s own country’ – with its dales, moors and rugged coastline. In the remote villages of Upper Swaledale, Penelope delights in the local dialect. She then visits Cracoe, the village featured in the film Calendar Girls. On the North York Moors there are Viking sword dances in Goathland, the failed seaside resort of Ravenscar, and the mystery of Captain Cook’s childhood in Great Ayton. And Penelope takes to the skies over Brompton-by-Sawdon before finishing her tour at the artist’s retreat of Staithes.
Grand Designs (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 5th October 2016)
Tom and Danielle Raffield’s lifelong passion is steam-bending wood into extraordinary curvy shapes. They’ve spent much of their working lives using the technique to make furniture and lighting. Desperate to escape their tiny gamekeeper’s lodge, they’ve decided to build a spectacular wavy wooden house in South Cornwall, with curvy cladding, twisty furniture, and interior walls covered with naturally-weathered timber. With only a £100k budget to play with, they decide to do a lot of the building themselves. But have they taken on too much?
The Cars That Made Britain Great (Channel 5/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 7th October 2016)
Rufus Hound continues his guide through Britain’s proud motoring history with the fastest cars ever produced, including the Lotus Seven, the AC Cobra, the Maestro Turbo, the Ford Sierra Cosworth and the McLaren F1.
Carry on Caravanning (Channel 5/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 7th October 2016)
Light-hearted documentary series about people with a passion for caravans. Firefighter Ashley thinks he is a thoroughly modern caravanner, but his pals at work have been mocking him for his newfound hobby. Undertaker Phil and wife Michelle set off in their camper van for a cowboys-and-indians weekend with some friends in the Chilterns. Essex girls Kelly and Freya throw their first folding caravan rally in Alcester. Newbie caravanner Mandy takes her revamped £350 back-to-basics caravan away for the first time.
The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Friday 7th October 2016)
Fresh from their hugely successful run at The Paralympics in Rio, the award-winning show returns live to Friday with its unique brand of irreverent satire for its ninth series. Hosts Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe examine the biggest and most entertaining news stories via the #isitok twitter handle, where viewers tweet in edgy current affairs questions that other shows might duck. Each week, a live audience and a special celebrity guest join the trio in the studio to help dissect the week’s events. In the first show Paralympic champions Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds join the team on the sofa.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.