Michael Buerk returns with more stories of how Britain was transformed during the Victorian era, beginning by looking at the development of the railway network during the era. Michael hops on board an original Victorian locomotive at Tanfield Railway and discovers the role this former coal track played in the development of the national railway. He also learns about Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s bid to secure Bristol’s future, and his creation of the fastest engine in the world.
Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 5th January 2020)
The return of the period drama about midwives and nurses in London’s East End, picking up the story in January 1965. After dealing with a power cut at the maternity home, Fred follows an unusual sound and finds a newborn baby abandoned in a dustbin. Meanwhile, Dr Turner and Nurse Crane must deal with an alarming outbreak of diphtheria, and Sister Julienne receives news of an ambitious redevelopment programme that potentially threatens Nonnatus House. Starring Jenny Agutter and Stephen McGann.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 6th January 2020)
Armed with an interwar Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo explores the Britain of the 1930s as he sets out on another adventure. Beginning just outside Newcastle in Jarrow, Michael uncovers the desperation that led 200 men to march 300 miles to Westminster in order to petition the government for work. The first leg of his journey ends Spennymoor, Co Durham, where he meets the son of a miner who became one of the most famous 20th-century artists of the region.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 7th January 2020)
Michael Portillo is in Northumbria en route to the Highlands, heading to Kielder Forest to discover what lay behind a national initiative to plant one of the largest manmade woodlands in Europe. Crossing the border to Scotland, Michael arrives in the weaving town of Hawick to visit Lovat Mill, where, in the 1930s, tweed was big business, and also goes to the movies, sitting in the front stalls at the Dominion cinema in Morningside.
Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 7th January 2020)
Part one of two. Nikki is called in when a private jet crashes in a forest outside London, and finds herself forced to be the bearer of bad news when she learns that the casualties include a former US ambassador who is also an old friend of Matt’s. Meanwhile, Thomas investigates the suspicious suicide of a successful businessman, and uncovers an unexpected connection to the plane crash – which suggests the two cases are linked, and that the plane may have been deliberately sabotaged as part of a coordinated attack.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 8th January 2020)
Michael Portillo reaches the Westerglen Transmitting Station in Falkirk, before visiting Gleneagles and Berry Town on route to his final stop on this leg, the city of Dundee.
Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 8th January 2020)
Part two of two. Nikki and the Lyell team continue to investigate the plane crash, ruling out an explosion and engine failure. The investigation takes a turn when they discover a connection to a sinister online forum. Meanwhile, Nikki’s partner Matt is grieving following the death of his close friend, putting their relationship under strain. Starring Emilia Fox, David Caves and Richard Lintern.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 9th January 2020)
Michael Portillo travels from Dundee to Aberdeen, stopping off at Glamis Castle, where the Queen Mother grew up, and making an excursion into the Eastern Highlands.
Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 9th January 2020)
The return of the whodunit set on the Caribbean island of Saint Marie, where the sun shines all day and it seems half the residents are killers-in-waiting. And so it appears this week as the locals set out to celebrate the New Year – only for the festivities to be cut short when a masked man stabs a woman in her own home, providing Detective Inspector Jack Mooney and his team with yet another murder to solve. Ardal O’Hanlon stars as the Irish detective – although as has been widely reported, he will soon be leaving the lead role – with guest appearances by Adrian Edmondson, Nina Wadia and Samuel West.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 10th January 2020)
Michael Portillo is at Elgin’s port, the coastal town of Lossiemouth, where the Labour Party’s first prime minister James Ramsay MacDonald was born. Nearby, Michael finds a remote boarding school established in the 1930s and famous today both for its unusual ideas and its royal former pupils. His penultimate stop is Inverness, where he uncovers the work of female photographer MEM Donaldson, who documented a Highland way of life that was rapidly disappearing. Michael’s journey ends at Loch Ness, where he joins a Deep Scan research team scouring the deep for signs of the elusive monster.
Secret Scotland (Channel 5/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Friday 10th January 2020)
The comedian traverses the North Coast 500, a 500-mile trip around the northernmost parts of mainland Britain. Beginning in the village of Golspie, Susan travels round the coast to Dunrobin Castle. There, she sees the 189-room property’s clock tower inspired by Big Ben, as well as its very own private train station. Further up the coast, Susan visits the Whaligoe steps, stunningly carved into the dramatic landscape, before getting a taste of the work of a real-life `herring girl”. After stopping off at John O’ Groats, the presenter heads to Dunnet Head for a spot of puffin-watching.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.