Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Saturday 13th February 2016)
Penelope Keith takes to the road once again for a second series, exploring the world of the nation’s smallest communities. Thatched cottages, the local shop, quaint church spires and games on the green – are just some of the things to be found amongst the 10,000 villages up and down the country. A proud villager in the home-counties for nearly 40 years, Penelope heads to four very different regions: Devon and Cornwall; Sussex and Kent; the stunning Cumbrian landscape of the Lake District; and Deeside in Scotland. In this first episode Penelope is in Devon and Cornwall – a land of rugged coastal communities and distinct identities forged over centuries, but also a region visited by five million people each year. Penelope travels to a former silver mining village, a cliff-edge fishing village, the most exposed theatre in the country, and the small communities near Fowey Harbour.
Countryfile (BBC 1/HD | 7:00pm to 8:00pm | Sunday 14th February 2016)
Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison are in Norfolk. Matt joins students training to be gamekeepers on a clay pigeon shoot – however, he discovers that conservation is also a big part their education. Matt sees how to butcher a haunch of venison and sits down with the students to enjoy some home-made venison stew. Ellie reveals how cranes have returned to Norfolk after an absence of four hundred years from the UK countryside. It is thanks to the efforts of naturalist John Buxton, who kept their presence secret, that the birds have made a comeback. On Hickling Broad, Ellie sees cranes beginning their courtship rituals, and she also visits Berney Marshes to find out how the RSPB has teamed up with local land owners and farmers to help manage water levels for wetland birds. Meanwhile, Adam Henson is in Scotland at the world-famous Stirling bull sales, and Olympic boxer Nicola Adams talks about her favourite part of the British countryside.
Call the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 14th February 2016)
New mother Roseanne’s past continues to haunt her, wreaking havoc on her family life, and a back injury forces Violet to put her beloved shop in the care of Fred with unforeseen consequences. When Dr Turner sets up a new chest clinic, he and Shelagh are forced to consider whether their own lifestyles are as healthy as they could be.
Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 15th February 2016)
In Baltimore, home of the first railroad in the United States – the Baltimore and Ohio – he discovers how the first American steam engine, the Tom Thumb, owed much to pioneering British technology. He investigates race relations in the troubled city, taking a drive downtown with a former drug dealer, now a teacher. On the city’s beautiful east coast, Michael discovers the impressive star-shaped Fort McHenry and learns how the Star-Spangled Banner national anthem was born. Medics at the city’s Johns Hopkins Hospital show Michael how their institution has grown from its 19th-century foundation by the railroad magnate into a world-leading centre for healthcare. And at the city’s Lexington Market, Michael learns what gives a Maryland crab cake the edge.
Griff’s Great Britain (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 15th February 2016)
Griff Rhys Jones sets out to explore some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes. This week he visits the breathtaking vistas and butterscotch-coloured villages of the Cotswolds, exploring the region by horse-drawn dray. Griff’s latest challenge is to exhibit a giant vegetable, and the Winchcombe Country Fair seems like the ideal venue to do just that.
The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive: 10 Years on (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 15th February 2016)
In 2006, in an award-winning series, Stephen Fry first spoke about living with manic depression and began a national conversation about mental health. A decade later, this film returns to the subject to understand where he and thousands of others diagnosed with bipolar (as it is now called) are now. As a society, do we need to do more for those with the illness? Is the treatment better? Has the stigma reduced?
The X Files (Channel 5 | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 15th February 2016)
During an investigation into the strange suicide of a scientist specialising in biochemical engineering, FBI special agents Mulder and Scully contend with memories of their missing son William.
Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 16th February 2016)
Michael arrives in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. He admires its fine public buildings, including the largest library in the world, and discovers how the capital was built from scratch after a political compromise between north and south. At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Michael meets the man responsible for engraving the portrait of President Abraham Lincoln on the current five-dollar bill and gets his hands on more money than he has ever held in his life. In the offices of the Washington Post, Michael learns about corruption in the corridors of power and how the newspaper toppled a president. He finishes this leg of his journey in the auditorium of the theatre where, in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Back in Time for the Weekend (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 16th February 2016)
The Ashby-Hawkins family give up their 21st-century technology and travel back in time to discover the radical transformation of our leisure time since 1950. Guided by presenters Giles Coren and social historian Polly Russell, the family’s entire experience is underpinned by the Family Expenditure Survey, a government study which ran from the 1950s right through to 1999. The survey gives us the best clue as to what families were doing with their leisure time across the five decades. The family strut into the 70s and discover some unexpected upsides to the economic and political turmoil the decade is often remembered for. Rob and Steph share more time together, playing darts with Eric Bristow and taking on some period-appropriate home improvement – cork tiles, anyone? Daughter Daisy lets her hair down at a roller disco with DJ Trevor Nelson and the family receive a visit from Top Gear’s original presenter Angela Rippon, who brings them a brand new Renault 5.
The Secret Life of the Zoo (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 16th February 2016)
Rothschild giraffe Orla has got the keepers guessing. She’s about to give birth to her second calf but is three weeks overdue. This episode captures the astonishing arrival of the giraffe family’s youngest member and its introduction to the rest of the herd. Chester Zoo is home to nine of some of the world’s most endangered frogs. With only two mountain chicken frogs left on the island of Montserrat, the dedicated team at Chester must do all they can to save the species. Frog keeper Pip sets out to create a state-of-the-art love den for the giant amphibians in the hope that one of the seven females will lay eggs. But getting frogs in the mood for love is trickier than Pip thought… The programme also discovers the secret world of the aardvark.
Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 17th February 2016)
Michael Portillo continues his American railroad journey. On this leg, Michael soaks up some old-school jazz in Washington’s U Street neighbourhood, where the big band jazz king Duke Ellington was born and began his career. He also grabs a bite at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the legendary diner chosen by President Obama for a snack before his inauguration. He follows his guidebook to the United States Naval Observatory, the nation’s timekeeper, where he discovers how and why the railroads established four time zones across the continent in 1883. Heading south to Alexandria in Virginia, Michael explores a former slave market and hears how African-Americans were bought and sold. He ends this leg in Mount Vernon, the palladian home of the nation’s first president George Washington, where he gets into a spot of bother at an archaeological dig.
Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 18th February 2016)
Michael Portillo arrives in Manassas, scene of two crucial battles during the American Civil War – the first railroad battles in US history. In Fredericksburg, Virginia, he tries his hand at bottling bourbon corn whisky and learns how it became the nation’s spirit. In Richmond, a plate of ham and eggs with southern grits sets Michael up for a tour of the Virginia State Capitol building, where he learns about the terrible dilemma faced by one of its most famous sons, General Robert E Lee. Charmed by the English heritage of this former colony, Michael puts on his dancing shoes and heads for a cotillion ball, where it seems manners are the name of the game.
Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 18th February 2016)
When a marine salvage hunter is killed, the evidence seems to point to one man. It would be an open-and-shut case for the team if it wasn’t for the suspect’s solid alibi. Meanwhile, it is JP’s stag do – and with Dwayne as best man, what could possibly go wrong?
Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 19th February 2016)
In Petersburg, Virginia, the choir of the First Baptist Church is in fine voice as Michael discovers how, during the 19th century, coded messages were delivered to slaves who hoped to escape via the so-called Underground Railroad. Michael ploughs his own furrow in a field in colonial Williamsburg, a living history park, where he learns from costumed re-enactors what life was like for both master and slave. It’s battle stations in Norfolk, home to the United States Atlantic Fleet, where Michael is invited on board the USS Wisconsin to hear about the first duel fought between iron-clad vessels in 1862 and Britain’s role in it. Michael reaches the end of this American journey in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, where he finds out about the settlers’ grim struggle for survival led by Captain John Smith and Pocahontas.
Best Walks with a View with Julia Bradbury (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Friday 19th February 2016)
Series in which Julia Bradbury shares some of her favourite walks from around the UK. Heading out on the Welsh island of Anglesey beside the Menai Strait and overlooking Snowdonia, Julia’s coastal walk in this programme uncovers the birth place of the Land Rover and ends on the romantic Llanddwyn Island, the home of Wales’s own female St Valentine which offers stunning sea views.
Shetland (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Friday 19th February 2016)
Perez struggles to deal with what has happened to Tosh as he continues to investigate the murders of Robbie Morton and Michael Thompson, but a shocking discovery finally leads him to the identity of who Thompson was going to testify against.
The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Friday 19th February 2016)
The critically acclaimed award-winning show returns with its unique brand of irreverent satire for a seventh series. Adam Hills hosts alongside co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, who tear into the weird and wonderful talking points of the week. This week Catherine Tate joins the team in front of a live studio audience.
All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide — www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=15119.