This month’s Adventure Show recreates one of the great pioneering journeys of Scottish canoeing. In 1934 two men set out in kayaks made from teak and canvas to paddle up the west coast of Scotland. Their exploits captivated the Scotland’s imagination and they became known as ‘The Canoe Boys’. To recreate this trip, former professional footballer Michael Stewart joins forces with experienced kayaker Brian Wilson. They tackle some of the country’s most notorious stretches of water in replica boats made especially for the trip. Much like the original Canoe Boys, Michael has virtually no experience of the sport.
Hidden Britain by Drone (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm Sunday 17th April 2016)
Presented by Sir Tony Robinson, in this episode the drones fly through a village erased from the maps, a supermarket without any customers, and a platform in the ocean that claims to be an independent nation. The flight starts in Scotland, where just a few miles from the Forth Bridge the largest aircraft carriers ever built for the Royal Navy are under construction. Security in the dockyard is tight, but with each carrier weighing 65,000 tonnes and the flight deck measuring 4.2 acres, it’s hard to keep them under wraps! Then the drones head to Nottinghamshire, to an unmarked building. Inside it looks like a supermarket, but there are no tills, no queues and the public are not allowed in. It’s not on any official list of stores and the only shoppers to be found are professionals working through the night to prepare online shopping orders. From here the drones fly to the Kent coast where a World War II shipwreck looms over the town of Sheerness – packed full of high explosives.
The Tube: Going Underground (Channel 5 | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 18th April 2016)
Documentary series following the work of the staff who keep London’s underground train service running smoothly. Tube staff face their busiest and most unusual shift of the year – New Year’s Eve. Firework displays, urinating on the escalators, all-night vomit-mopping and a suspect package at Waterloo Bridge.
Europe: Them or Us (BBC 2/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 19th April 2016)
Nick Robinson explores the troubled history of the UK’s relationship with Europe. The second programme goes behind the closed doors of Whitehall and Brussels to hear from the decision makers about the twists and turns in Britain’s relationship with the EEC, now EU. The film examines the way the first European referendum was fought 40 years ago, and the changes in the European project since then. After the British people gave their consent in 1975, successive governments have battled to maintain that consent, leading eventually to the in-out referendum this June. The film has contributions from four British prime ministers – Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and David Cameron. Also taking part are Tony Benn, Nick Clegg, Jacques Delors, Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, William Hague, Roy Jenkins, Jack Straw and Norman Tebbit, and the main civil servants and diplomats involved on both sides of the English Channel.
Caravanner of the Year (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Wednesday 20th April 2016)
Six top caravanning enthusiasts are out to prove they have the skills to be named the Caravan Club’s first Caravanner of the Year. The quirky passions of these motorhomers, caravanners and camper vanners are laid bare over two tough days of competition. Droopy awnings are out and only spirit-level precision works for judge Grenville Chamberlain, while journalist Andy Harris champions a spirit of adventure and more than a little mischief starting with an awning assembly speed trial. Otherwise known as divorce-in-a-bag, this plays out with a variety of approaches to teamwork. But it is the challenging manoeuvres, where even a judge can come unstuck, that push everyone to their limits. Some flourish with humorous and heartfelt results, while others flounder. But with no time to regroup, it is straight onto a caravanning favourite for some competitive polishing and primping before Grenville, Andy and guest judge Lucy-Jayne Grout have to pick the three who have earned a place in the final.
Secret Britain (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 20th April 2016)
Series exploring the hidden corners of the UK and revealing landscape secrets. Ellie Harrison, Chris Hollins and Denise Lewis explore Devon. On a journey from an abandoned island on the south coast to the county’s most hidden and remote surf spots in the north, Ellie Harrison follows in Drake’s footsteps, seeking out Devon’s best-kept secrets. Chris Hollins relives an ancient and long forgotten purification ritual on Dartmoor, and Denise Lewis uncovers the secret history of the county’s most reluctant visitors.
Elizabeth at 90: A Family Tribute (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:10pm | Thursday 21st April 2016)
A unique celebration of the Queen’s ninety years as she reaches her landmark birthday in April. Film-maker John Bridcut has been granted special access to the complete collection of Her Majesty’s personal cine films, shot by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen herself, as well as by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Much of it has never been seen publicly before. Various members of the Royal Family are filmed watching this private footage and contributing their own personal insights and their memories of the woman they know both as a member of their own close family and as queen. Among those taking part are the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Princess Royal, the Duke of Kent and his sister Princess Alexandra, who has never before given an interview.
Barging Round Britain with John Sergeant (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Friday 22nd April 2016)
John Sergeant returns for a second series as he enjoys some of some of the best canal journeys Britain has to offer. This episode sees him travelling along the impressive Peak Forest Canal from Derbyshire to Tameside. Along the way, he is roped into making Refreshers at the Swizzles sweet factory, joins a team digging up the remains of one of the world’s largest mills and gets into a bit of argy-bargy with boxer Ricky Hatton.
Flying Scotsman with Robson Green (itv/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 22nd April 2016)
Robson Green tells the remarkable story of the Flying Scotsman as he spends a year with the men rebuilding the most famous steam engine in the world. At the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, he meets historian Robert Gwynne who shows him a brilliant invention by the Scotsman’s designer Nigel Gresley which allowed the train to drive from London to Edinburgh without stopping – a world first at the time – and helped turn the Flying Scotsman into a global brand. Robson experiences a taste of the sauna-like heat pouring out of the train’s fire box and is shown how this device would have been operated by the crew. After a year in the workshop, the Flying Scotsman is ready for its first test run and Robson gets the opportunity to live a dream and ride on the footplate.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.