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WHAT TO WATCH: 27-31 December

This week’s telly includes a lot of one-offs including the return of Alan Partridge and Vic & Bob plus Black Mirror finally returns to Netflix.

Here are the 7 shows you have to watch this week…


1. Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How And Whom? | Wednesday 27th December at 9pm on BBC Two

With a brand new BBC Two sitcom confirmed for Alan Partridge for 2018, this Christmas sees the channel celebrate his return with a retrospective documentary that will look back at his journey from broadcaster caricature to the award-winning study of complexity and pathos that he has become.

It has been a quarter of a century since a little-known sports reporter was given his own radio chat show by the BBC. And two radio series, five TV series, four specials, two books and one movie later, Alan Partridge has an unrivalled place in the comedy pantheon.

Through interviews and a wealth of never-before-seen archive footage, including improv sessions, rehearsals and unseen outtakes a light will be shone on the genesis of the character. We will hear from the man behind the man himself, Steve Coogan, as well as Armando Iannucci, Patrick Marber, Peter Baynham, Rebecca Front, David Schneider and Doon Mackichan.

The one-off documentary will look at the craft involved in creating a character like Partridge in the early days as well as the ongoing story of how, through Coogan’s virtuoso performance, Alan remains one of the most beloved comic creations of the last few decades.

The programme will also feature discussions with some of the best loved characters in Alan’s world; the likes of Felicity Montagu (Lynn), Simon Greenall (Michael), Sally Phillips (Sophie the receptionist), Phil Cornwell (Dave Clifton) and Tim Key (Sidekick Simon).

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2. Miranda Does Christmas | Wednesday 27th December at 9pm on Channel 4

Miranda is returning to our telly this Christmas! I don’t mean Miranda the series, but Miranda Hart. Miranda does Christmas does exactly what the title would suggest and fresh from presenting her first ever Royal Variety Performance, Miranda is here to show us how to make Christmas just as much fun as it used to be.

She goes carol singing with a very special guest singer, she hits the streets to spread Christmas joy among shoppers, she rewards the good deeds of unsuspecting members of the audience, and she brings romance to two singletons. And there’s a gospel choir performing a unique Christmas mash up, plus a spectacular festive version of a Destiny’s Child classic.

She’ll be joined by some very special guests including David Tennant, Sam Smith and Prue Leith. It’s just a shame that a programme as festive as this has been scheduled two days after Christmas Day.

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3. Black Mirror (Series 4) | Friday 29th December on Netflix

Charlie Brooker might not be able to deliver us his 2017 Wipe this year but thankfully nothing has stopped him from delivering a fourth series of Black Mirror all at once on Netflix, perfect for that post-Christmas binge.

In USS Callister, a woman wakes up on a Star Trek-esque ship where the crew praise their all knowing and fearless captain. The opening episode stars Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson, and Michaela Coel. In episode two, ArkAngel, Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding and Owen Teague star in a story of a mother who after nearly losing her daughter, invests in a new technology that allows her to keep track of her kid.

Andrea Riseborough stars alongside Kiran Sonia Sawar and Andrew Gower in Crocodile, which sees a woman interview various people using a device that allows her to access their memories. Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole, and George Blagden star in Hang The DJ, which introduces us to a new dating app which insists that singles need to meet before 12 hours.

Maxine Peake stars in Metalhead, a black and white film about a woman attempting to survive a dangerous land full of “dogs” and in the final episode Black Museum, a woman enters the Black Museum where the proprietor tells her stories relating to the artifacts. Stars Douglas Hodge, Letitia Wright, and Babs Olusanmokun.

All 6 episodes


4. Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out | Friday 29th December at 9pm on BBC Two

Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out returns this Christmas for a special one-off episode that proves to be the perfect showcase for the legendary duo’s unique comedy talents. Shot in a studio in front of a live audience, this high-octane half hour features songs, sketches and silliness in buckets.

Novelty Island is open for business once again, while a very popular television show gets the Reeves & Mortimer makeover treatment. The show also features Matt Lucas, and Mel Gibson and Idris Elba as you’ve never seen them before.

And the good news is, that if you enjoy this, there’s a new four-part series coming to BBC Four in 2018.

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5. Delicious (Series 2) | Friday 29th December at 9pm on Sky One

Dawn French, Emilia Fox, Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock return in the new series of Delicious and this time they’re joined by the legendary Italian film star Franco Nero.

Delicious is a compelling story of love, heartbreak, food and friendship, where things are never as they seem. Dawn French reprises her roles as passionate cook Gina, who has inherited the Penrose hotel and restaurant together with the glamorous Sam (Emilia Fox), both former wives of the deceased head chef Leo Vincent (Iain Glen).

Since Leo died, Gina and Sam’s business has been booming, their delicate friendship has lasted and they are on the lookout for a new protégé in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it’s not long before the dynamics of family, love, rivalry and life start to get in the way of their success. Not least when Gina’s estranged father (Franco Nero) turns up at the doorstep combined with further surprises from the past and the impact of Leo’s legacy.

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6. A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong | Saturday 30th December at 7:10pm BBC One

In what’s becoming somewhat of a Christmas tradition, the Olivier Award-winning Mischief Theatre Company return to BBC One this year with their take on Dickens’s famous festive fable, A Christmas Carol.

Blacklisted by the BBC after ruining Peter Pan, the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society do not take their ban lying down and force themselves back on the BBC by hijacking the jewel of the Christmas schedule, a live production of A Christmas Carol, staged by a professional cast including Derek Jacobi as Scrooge and Diana Ring as Aunt Diana!

As the Cornley gang try to make the show work on television, they soon realise they are completely out of their depth, with no idea how to direct a live studio or handle the special effects. Worse still, their internal rivalries are revealed on television, while an angry professional cast tries to get back into the studio.

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7. Alan Carr’s New Year Specstacular | Sunday 31st December at 9pm on Channel 4

For the last six years, Alan Carr has been seeing us into the New Year with his New Year Specstacular and this year is no different.

This New Year’s Eve, Alan will be welcoming in 2018 with his unique brand of unpredictable madness, hysterical sketches, party games and a cracking guest-list that includes Big Narstie, Jonnie Peacock, Keith Lemon, Caroline Flack, Alex Brooker, Binky Felstead, Tom Davis, Charlotte Dawson and Kim Woodburn.

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