All good things must come to an end, and this week sees the end of not one but two fantastic dramas; The Five and Undercover.
As well as great drama, there’s a lot of entertainment on offer this week with the launch of Rylan’s chat show Up Late with Rylan, The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration and if that doesn’t do it for you, there’s the Eurovision on Saturday.
Here are the seven shows you simply can’t miss this week on telly…
1. Up Late with Rylan | Monday 9th – Thursday 12th May, 11pm on Channel 5
I wasn’t Rylan’s biggest fan when he was on The X Factor. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that I didn’t like him at all. He was the token joke act but since finishing fifth, yes FIFTH, he has carved out a very well deserved career for himself and it all happened when he won Celebrity Big Brother in January 2013.
Just under four months later, Rylan was handed the biggest gig of his career, co-host of Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and in February 2015 he became the only presenter of the show after becoming a hit with viewers. On BBBOTS, Rylan has really proved himself to be a very competent and likeable presenter, so it’s no surprise that Channel 5 have given him his very own chat show.
Up Late with Rylan begins this week and airs Monday-Thursday at 11pm on Channel 5. Filmed on the evening of transmission from The Hospital Club in Central London this exciting fast- turnaround show is truly topical and means Rylan and his guests can cover the very latest news, and gossip.
Described as an “irreverent late-night chatfest”, Up Late with Rylan will be packed full of engaging celebrities, social buzz, live music and mischievous late night games. To me, this sounds like a cross between TFI Friday and The Late Late Show with James Corden – no bad thing!
Joining him on the first show will be Alesha Dixon and Keith Lemon, and his celebrity barmaid for the first week will be Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby.
2. Killer Women with Piers Morgan | Wednesday 11th May, 9pm on ITV
Part of me really didn’t want to make Piers Morgan one of my seven shows not to miss this week, but after watching the first episode of Killer Women with Piers Morgan there’s no denying that it makes for some very compelling television.
In the series, Piers Morgan travels across the US to meet some of America’s most notorious female murderers in a quest to discover what can drive some women to kill. One story in particular which I found fascinating was that of Erin Caffey who, at the age of 16, masterminded the brutal murder of her entire family.
In the first episode, Piers travels to Gatesville Texas to meet her and drives to rural East Texas to meet the one survivor of the tragedy, Erin’s father Terry. Terry was shot 5 times and crawled out of his burning home on the night he lost the rest of his family. Now, Terry has made an incredible choice: he has forgiven Erin and still goes to see her in prison every month.
For this incomprehensible act, Erin will remain behind bars until she is almost 60 years old and in a gripping encounter behind bars, Piers draws from Erin what made an apparently typical teen-aged girl conspire with her boyfriend to kill her mum, dad and two younger brothers.
As the episode develops, a main question begins to emerge: was Erin the driving force behind the murders or her 18 year old boyfriend Charlie? Erin and Terry say it’s the latter. But, as Piers seeks out other people close to the case, a different picture emerges.
3. Mum | Friday 13th May, 10pm on BBC Two
If you loved Him & Her on BBC Three, you’re going to love Mum from Him and Her writer Stefan Golaszewski.
The brand new BBC Two comedy is a brilliant subtle family sitcom seen through the eyes of Cathy, played by Lesley Manville. The series follows a year in her life as she moves on from the death of her husband.
Starting with the family gathering for the funeral in January and ending on New Year’s Eve, the story unfolds through the major and minor events of a year. It’s the story of a woman finding who she is again and maybe, if she could only see it, finding love second time around.
Look out for my full review coming soon!
4. The Five | Friday 13th May, 9pm & 10pm on Sky 1
For the past four weeks I have been hooked for two hours every Friday thanks to Harlan Coben’s The Five on Sky 1. After the first two episodes, I had high hopes for The Five, and I was right to as every week the series has delivered, and then some.
In a nutshell, in case you haven’t seen it, The Five tells the story of five friends, one (Jesse) goes missing and twenty years later, his DNA is found at a murder scene. But is Jesse really alive?
Those who have read Harlan’s books will know that he’s no stranger to a cliffhanger at the end of his novels, so it’s fitting that each episode of The Five also ended with a massive cliffhanger that left you wanting more.
The clever people at Sky recognised that this would be the case and decided to air two episodes back-t0-back each week. But even that wasn’t enough, I would have preferred all ten episodes in one go – the mark of a great drama.
In the penultimate episode of Harlan Coben’s twist-filled drama, Danny and Mark go it alone. But just as they think they’re getting close to the truth, Mark discovers some devastating news that makes him question everything about his family.
Meanwhile, Danny reaches rock bottom when Ray’s return almost ends in tragedy and it’s a sobering moment when he realises that he only has one choice left to make. Elsewhere, Ally enlists the help of Pru on a seemingly fruitless mission to finally crack the case.
In the final episode, the investigation into Jesse’s disappearance takes an unexpected turn and it’s time for Mark and his family to finally face up to the truth, but will they ever be the same again? Pru enlists Slade’s help as she worries how Mark will take the news of her shocking discovery. It’s a race against time as they do everything that they can to help Mark rescue his family before it is too late.
When I interviewed Harlan Coben at the beginning of the series, he assured me that we will find out what happened to Jesse. He told me:
“A lot of TV shows have a great hook, but they don’t know how to end it. I knew right away how this ends.
You will find out in episodes nine and ten what happened to Jesse, and you’ll have all the answers. I think it’s going to genuinely surprise people and move them in interesting ways.” (Read the full interview here)
If that isn’t enough of a hook to watch I don’t know what is. And if you’ve somehow let the series slip you by, I fully recommend you catch up right from the beginning.
9/10 & 10/10
5. The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 | Saturday 14th May on BBC One
“It’s the taking part that counts”. If you remember that, and believe it, then watching The Eurovision Song Contest can be an enjoyable experience rather than a painful/embarrassing one. After all, the last time we won was back in 1997.
Once again, Graham Norton will be on hand to deliver his hilarious commentary as 26 acts compete to become this year’s Eurovision champions in, the first contest since the sad passing of Terry Wogan. Flying the flag for the UK this year are ex-The Voice UK contestants Joe and Jake with their song You’re Not Alone.
Hosting the main event live from the Globe Arena in Stockholm will be current Eurovision champion Måns Zelmerlöw together with Petra Mede who also hosted the competition back in 2013.
Will the UK run away with victory? Unlikely. But if nothing else, The Eurovision Song Contest is always an entertaining way to spend Saturday night in front of the telly.
6. The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration | Sunday 15th May, 8:35pm on ITV
Ant and Dec host a spectacular two and a half hour event in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate her 90th birthday,
Set in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, the best of British talent will join more than 900 horses and 1500 participants for this special celebration of the Queen’s life.
Stars taking to the stage will include Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Shirley Bassey, Kylie Minogue, Andrea Bocelli, Gary Barlow, Damian Lewis, Jess Glynne, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Alfie Boe, James Blunt, Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight, Jennifer Saunders, Alan Titchmarsh and Martin Clunes.
Performers in the arena will include The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Chilean Huasos, Azerbaijani horses and riders and over 100 Military and Commonwealth Pipers.
The celebration will also include rare archive footage and will tell the story of the Queen’s remarkable life from her birth in 1926 to a reign spanning more than 60 years.
7. Undercover | Sunday 15th May, 9pm on BBC One
After a shaky start (I really didn’t enjoy the first episode), Undercover has grown into one of the best television dramas of the year, and there have been many!
Sophie Okonedo has given an outstanding performance as Maya Cobbina, who for twenty years has been trying to gain justice for Michael Antwi, a charismatic anti-racist campaigner who died in police custody.
Adrian Lester has also given an excellent performance as her husband Nick Johnson. Or at least, that’s who he led her to believe he is. Nick Johnson is in fact a false identity, his true identity at the time they met, was an undercover officer infiltrating political organisations for the Met police.
When he left the police force, Nick and Maya went on to have three children, all under a false identity.
In the final episode, Maya’s case is in tatters following the death of Rudy’s alibi witness, andher cards seem all played out. Can she find the strength for the final fight and change the course of US Justice?
And what does that mean in her fight to ‘go big’? Meanwhile, Nick attempts a final shot at redemption.