Every day, on a sandy beach or a rocky foreshore, fascinating evidence of Britain’s island history appears and disappears as the tide rolls in and rolls back out again. Tori Herridge and Alex Langlands reveal stories from our extraordinary maritime, industrial and natural history. In this episode, Tori and Alex explore Merseyside’s coastal archaeology. They investigate a beach full of building rubble from World War II, track down Liverpool’s own version of the Whisky Galore story, and find evidence of people and animals dating back 7000 years.
Planet Earth II (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 27th November 2016)
Wildlife documentary series presented by David Attenborough. The world’s deserts are lands of extremes that force animals to come up with ingenious ways of coping with hostile conditions, giving rise to the most incredible survival stories on earth. A pride of desert lions are so hungry they risk hunting a giraffe several times their size, while male sandgrouse fly 120 miles each day to the nearest waterhole and dice with death to collect water for their chicks. Filmed for the first time, a tiny bat does battle with one of the world’s deadliest scorpions, and in Madagascar, a locust swarm of biblical proportions is seen as never before.
The River (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 7:30pm to 8:00pm | Monday 28th November 2016)
Documentary series charting life along the River Tweed. In this episode, Eddie Weatherly and his river bailiff team respond to calls that salmon poachers are active along the river by lying in wait to see if the poachers turn up. In Kelso, Margaret Livingstone-Evans, the manager of Ednam House hotel, must juggle three weddings across three days. In Peebles, Ruth Hinks has 5,000 chocolate brownies to make for a charity campaign. On Cowbog Farm, farmer Robert Wilson, daughter Lottie and father Ron test the cattle for TB and check to see if Lottie’s favourite cow is pregnant. And at Floors Stud, Tattersalls auctioneer Todd Watt visits to decide just how many potential million-pound horses will go in the biggest of horse sales.
Fair Isle (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 28th November 2016)
Intimate two-part documentary revealing life on Fair Isle, Britain’s most remote inhabited island, with a population of just 55 people. This first programme charts the arrival of a new couple and follows them as they settle in and adapt to island life. Plus the family whose 11-year-old son has to leave home to board at secondary school on mainland Shetland.
Our Guy in China (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 28th November 2016)
Guy Martin explores Beijing, ignoring the tourist traps and following his own often eccentric passions as he reveals a lesser-seen side of China. In a backstreet bicycle shop he spends £18 on a rudimentary ‘Flying Pigeon’, the most produced machine in the world. Under the reign of Chairman Mao it was the only approved mode of transport for workers, with some 500 million built. Guy meets families who live on a scrapyard, earning a living by processing old cars. He’s pleasantly surprised by the yard’s efficiency and cleanliness, and spending the afternoon helping out by operating the cranes and machinery is Guy’s idea of the perfect holiday. Inequality is a huge problem in China, with one per cent of the nation controlling half the wealth.
The Secret Life of the Zoo (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 1st December 2016)
Spring is in the air at Chester Zoo and many of the animals are giving birth, but an outbreak of disease in the penguin colony leaves penguin chick Munch fighting for his life. Sulawesi macaque mum Lisa gives birth to Han, but dad Mamassa isn’t proving much parenting help, so Lisa’s older son Beaker steps in to help with the babysitting. Andean spectacled bear Lima is entering her short window of fertility, and 19-stone male Bernie seems determined to woo her, but Lima doesn’t seem to want to let Bernie get close to her. And when young male tortoise Football muscles in on 71-year-old Bert’s harem of females, keepers decide to keep Bert’s spirits up by introducing two Swedish female tortoises to the group.
Grand Designs (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm 10:00pm | Thursday 1st December 2016)
Kevin McCloud hosts the competition run in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects that celebrates excellence in housing design. Kevin is joined by Damion Burrows and Zac Monro as they explore some of Britain’s most cutting-edge homes, all of them in the running for the prestigious prize – the Bafta of the architecture world. This time Kevin, Zac and Damion profile five homes that are testbeds for architectural ideas, pushing the boundaries for residential design: a cool, concealed house built from glass and concrete; an uber-creative Wallace and Gromit-style house in Edinburgh squeezed onto a disused plot; a gorgeous, low-slung modern home in Cumbria camouflaged with stone; an experimental extension in London with a Japanese flavour; and an elegant house in Buckinghamshire that combines sustainability with glamour. Kevin then reveals which one has made it onto the shortlist and is in with a chance of winning House of the Year 2016.
Secrets of Great British Castles (Channel 5/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 2nd December 2016)
History series. Dan Jones visits Lancaster Castle to explore its grisly history of crime and punishment, including the infamous Lancashire Witches trials and the martyrdom of the Jesuit priest Saint Edmund Arrowsmith.
The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Friday 2nd December 2016)
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. A celebrity guest joins the trio in the studio to help dissect the week’s events.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.