Michael Portillo embarks on a journey around north west Britain. Joining the cracker packers of Carlisle on the factory floor, Michael Portillo really takes the biscuit as he investigates the Victorian appetite for the custard cream on his new journey. Braving a perilous descent into the only operational slate mine in England, Michael discovers a miniature railway which once hauled slate to the surface. Following in the footsteps of Victorian miners on their way to work, he steps out gingerly on to what is now Britain’s only Via Ferrata – a terrifying tightrope challenge 300 feet above the Borrowdale Valley.
The Fight of Gordon’s Life (BBC 1 Scotland & BBC iPlayer only | 8:30pm to 9:00pm | Monday 4th January 2016)
Documentary following one young man’s battle with a terminal condition. Diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 29, Gordon Aikman decided to raise money to help fund a cure and campaigned for better treatment. He won major improvements in patient care even as he gradually lost control of his body. And in a year of physical and emotional struggle, he also brought family and friends together to celebrate his marriage.
Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 4th January 2016)
The apparent suicide of a DJ leads Nikki to question her judgement on a strikingly similar case from her past. But when she brings the potential mistake to the attention of her colleagues, the news threatens to have repercussions for the family of the deceased, the police and the Lyell. Meanwhile, Nikki catches up with an old friend from medical school, Scott, but the timing of his reappearance in her life seems suspicious in light of the recent events.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 5th January 2016)
Michael Portillo embarks on a journey around north west Britain. Michael continues his journey through the Lake District where he discovers a magical world of talking rabbits, ducks, hedgehogs and mice, who have entertained children for more than 100 years. At the village home of author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, Michael learns about her legacy and her fears about the railways. Fuelled by a Victorian energy bar, Michael presses on to Brantwood, home of the Victorian art critic John Ruskin. He finishes with a brief encounter at Carnforth.
Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 5th January 2016)
Nikki is arrested after a senior pathologist that she previously came to blows with is murdered. Whilst the team fight to clear her name, Nikki suspects someone is attempting to frame her. Meanwhile Tony, recently released from prison for attempted murder, learns of the pathologist’s death. Recognising the name from his own trial years ago, Tony begins to fear that his son David is involved in hurting the people involved in his father’s incarceration. As Nikki is released from custody, she has her own doubts and can’t help but suspect her old flame Scott, whose return to her life is so well timed with recent events.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 6th January 2016)
Michael Portillo embarks on a journey around north west Britain. Michael reads the riot act in Preston, where he discovers four mill workers were shot dead by soldiers at a protest in 1842. In Darwen, he makes a splash in pink as he traces developments in 19th-century interior design from wallpaper to paint. Michael explores the Victorian industrial landscape of Salford, populated by little matchstick figures, as revealed in the paintings of LS Lowry. Michael finishes this leg of his journey on Kersal Moor, where he twists his tongue around the Lancashire dialect and discovers the poetry of Edwin Waugh.
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 7th January 2016)
Michael Portillo embarks on a journey around north west Britain. Steered by his Bradshaw’s guide, Michael begins this leg of his journey in Merseyside, where he feels the heat of modern glassmaking in St Helen’s. He discovers how the techniques invented in the Victorian era to construct buildings such as the Crystal Palace have evolved and are powering a new architectural revolution.
Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 7th January 2016)
DI Goodman and his team are tested when a millionaire philanthropist is murdered on his boat, and the only suspects were all underwater at the time. Meanwhile, DI Goodman’s new hobby raises a few eyebrows…
The Restoration Man (Channel 4/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 7th January 2016)
A new series of the show where George Clarke helps rescue neglected architectural treasures across Britain. When an Edwardian Baptist church comes up for sale in the small Pennine village of Oxenhope, Colin and Emma Clewes seize on their chance to turn it into a five-bedroom family home. With only a meagre budget, Colin intends to do most of the building work himself – while the couple juggle looking after their young family and running their own business. But restoring a church that has been in decline for years demands every ounce of their hard graft and grit. George offers inspiration and guidance to pull them through, and discovers that the church’s history is woven into the fabric of this small mill-working community.
(Editor’s Choice, High Definition, Subtitles, Part 1 of 5, Audio Described, Episode 1, 3 Star)
Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 8th January 2016)
Michael Portillo embarks on a journey around north west Britain. On the last leg of his journey through north west England, Michael makes a clean sweep in Ashley, where, in Victorian times, the new middle classes set up home in suburban villas with multiple chimneys, swept by children. In Macclesfield, Michael finds the end of the Silk Route and tries his hand at screen printing. After stoking the fire on the steam-powered Churnet Valley Railway, Michael alights at Froghall for Alton Towers, to trace the 19th-century origins of the modern theme park.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.