As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead to 2018 and what we’ve got to look forward to on the telly…
1. Action Team | Early 2018 on ITV2
Whilst we wait for news of more Murder in Successville, ITV2 have snapped up the team behind the hit BBC Three series for their new six-part comedy Action Team.
The series, starring Tom Davis, Jim Howick, Kayode Ewumi and Laura Checkley, has been written by Tom Davis and James De Frond is a spoof action-thriller series that follows the exploits of a top-secret team of special agents working for the British government and charged with saving the world, headed up by Ruth Brooks, played by Vicky McClure.
2. Benidorm (Series 10) | Early 2018 on ITV
In 2017, Benidorm didn’t air in its usual January slot and it just didn’t feel right. There’s something about the sunshine of Benidorm that just works.
Rumour has it that the latest (and possibly final) seres of Benidorm will return to its usual slot but there have been a number of cast changes.
Danny Walters who played Tiger has gone on to be a regular in EastEnders so won’t be returning and neither will Paul Bazely who played Troy or Johnny Vegas who played Geoff “The Oracle” Maltby.
Shane Richie will reprise his role as lively entertainer Sammy Valentino for four episodes and John Challis who has appeared in the odd episode since 2015 as Monty Staines, will become a series regular as he prepares to marry Joyce Temple Savage. And legendary comedy duo Hale & Pace join Benidorm as undercover detectives who are there to investigate Les/Lesley.
3. Bodyguard | BBC One
With no new Line of Duty this year (that’s coming in 2019), Jed Mercurio and Keeley Hawes reunite for Bodyguard, a timely six-part drama which tells the fictional story of David Budd, played by Richard Madden, a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague, played by Keeley Hawes, whose politics stand for everything he despises, Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, is he actually her biggest threat?
Further cast include Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, Vincent Franklin and Rowena King.
4. Dancing On Ice | Starts Sunday 7th January at 6pm on ITV
After 6 years away, Dancing On Ice is returning to ITV to brighten up Sunday evenings with a brand new set, brand new celebrities and plenty of changes to the format!
Legendary skating duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will be reunited with original hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and 12 new celebrities have been partnered with professional skaters, some returning, some new!
The celebs taking part this year are Good Morning Britain’s weather presenter Alex Beresford, Corrie stars Antony Cotton and Brooke Vincent, Bake Off winner Candice Brown, Buck’s Fizz singer Cheryl Baker, Hollyoaks star Stephanie Waring, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, former X Factor finalist Jake Quickenden, athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton, Rugby player Max Evans, TV presenter Donna Air and soul singer Lemar!
They’ll each be skating more ambitious routines than ever before in a bid to impress Torvill and Dean who now sit on the ice panel alongside Jason Gardiner and Ashley Banjo as well as the viewers at home.
5. Friday Night Dinner (Series 5) | Late 2018 on Channel 4
The fourth series of Friday Night Dinner finished in August 2016 and for a year it was thought that the hit sitcom might never return. But almost exactly a year to the day of the final episode airing on Channel 4, it was confirmed that a new six part series would shoot early 2018 to be shown later that year.
Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal return as the Goodman Family and Mark Heap returns as the always unannounced Jim.
In the new series, Mum and Dad get a hot tub, much to the horror of Adam and Jonny, Adam accidentally sets his car on fire, Jonny won’t stop prank-calling Adam, Dad becomes obsessed with his old, terrifying ventriloquist dummy, Mum organises her own, terrible surprise party, Jim goes on a date from beyond hell, Horrible Grandma comes back for more horribleness… and the family have dinner!
6. Humans (Series 3) | Mid-Late 2018 on Channel 4
After such a cliffhanger at the end of series two, it was rather cruel of Channel 4 to make us wait three months for confirmation of a third series. But thankfully the announcement did come and 2018 will see Humans return to our screens for a brand new eight-part series.
One year after the dawn of consciousness, a decimated and oppressed Synth population fights to survive in a world that hates and fears them. In a divided Britain, Synths and Humans struggle to broker an uneasy peace, but when fractures within the Synth community itself start to appear, all hope of stability is threatened.
Set against the maelstrom of political chaos, the ethical complexities of the dawn of a new species play out across that promises to be a thrilling multi-stranded narrative. As the synth family continue to battle for their right to survival, Joe, Laura. and their children Mattie, Toby and Sophie struggle to come to terms with the cataclysmic events of the last series and their deeply polarised views on the implications of the singularity.
Also returning will as café owner Ed will be Sam Palladio and Mark Bonnar will join the series as Neil Sommer, an intriguingly charming scientist on a government commission with whom Laura develops a strong personal connection.
7. Inside No. 9 (Series 4) | Starts Tuesday 2nd January at 10pm on BBC Two
Following what were three sensational episode of The League of Gentlemen in December, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton kick off 2018 with a new series of Inside No. 9, their anthology series full of darkly comic twisted tales which all place behind a door marked ‘number 9’.
The opening episode, Zanzibar is set in a luxury hotel and is a unique mixture of comedy, drama, love, intrigue, ancient curses, industry gossip, room service and murderous intent.
As always, they have assembled a stellar cast across the six new episodes, but not least of all in the opening episode. Zanzibar stars Rory Kinnear, Hattie Morahan, Bill Paterson, Kevin Eldon, Tanya Franks, Marcia Warren, Helen Monks, Jaygann Ayeh and of course Reece and Steve themselves!
8. Kiri | Starts Wednesday 10th January at 9pm on Channel 4
Usually found on BBC One, Sarah Lancashire stars in Kiri, Channel 4’s emotional new drama from Jack Thorne. This new 4-part drama examines the abduction of a young black girl, named Kiri, who is soon-to-be-adopted by her white foster family, and the trail of lies, blame, guilt and notoriety that follows.
At the heart of the drama lies Miriam, an experienced, no-nonsense social worker who loves and believes in her job, but has a maverick and instinctive approach to protecting the children in her care. Miriam arranges for Kiri to have an unsupervised visit with her biological grandparents.
But when Kiri disappears during the visit, the fingers of suspicion and blame from the police, the press, and even her colleagues, point firmly at Miriam. As the media spotlight around the story intensifies, Miriam, as well as both sets of families, are forced to ask the toughest questions, not just of themselves, but of each other.
9. Love Island (Series 4) | June 2018 on ITV2
Love Island was undoubtedly the biggest TV show of Summer 2017, so it’s no surprise that it will be returning in 2018 with a new batch of singletons all looking for love in a sunshine paradise and hoping to follow in the footsteps of Kem and Amber, Chris and Olivia and Gabby and Marcel.
I’m hoping they keep the show as it was in 2017, because let’s be fair, it bloody works! Caroline Flack will return to host the show, delivering those killer twists and overseeing those all important recouplings. And of course Iain Stirling will be back to deliver the best voiceover on television.
So cancel your plans for next summer as the new series is expected to start in June and will once again run for seven weeks.
It’s not yet known if Love Island: Aftersun will return for a second series.
10. Luther | BBC One
Luther returned towards the end of 2015 for a fourth series, but with only two episodes, many felt short changed and it appeared that there were no plans for any further episodes.
Luckily, it was announced in June that in 2018 Luther will return for a fifth series, made up of four brand new episodes. Idris Elba will return to play John Luther and filming is due to start early 2018.
No details have been released yet about where the story will go next. But one thing’s for sure, John Luther’s story is far from over.
11. Mum (Series 2) | Early 2018 on BBC Two
When Him & Her writer Stefan Golaszewski’s new sitcom Mum first aired on BBC Two in 2016, I was immediately hooked and was so pleased when the BBC confirmed that there will be a second series.
The first series followed a year in the life of Cathy, played by Lesley Manville, as she moved on from the death of her husband and viewers saw her and her family go through the major and minor events of the year.
Mum is the story of a woman finding who she is again and maybe finding love second time around.
12. Peter Kay’s Car Share (Finale) | BBC One
When the second series of Peter Kay’s Car Share ended, many viewers were left in dismay at the end of the series two when Kayleigh stepped out of John’s car and his life forever and it was revealed that there would be no more episodes, not even a special.
But following an online petition demanding a conclusion to the series, which gathered over 100k signatures, it was announced during Children In Need that Car Share will be coming back for one final hurrah.
The special finale episode which will follow a brand new unscripted episode and reveal just what happens to John and Kayleigh next.
13. Save Me | Early 2018 on Sky Atlantic
Suranne Jones, Stephen Graham and Lennie James star in Save Me, a new drama from the producers of Line of Duty for Sky Atlantic.
It’s the story of a most unlikely hero, Nelson Nelly Rowe and his search for Jody, his missing daughter. A daughter he hasn’t seen for thirteen years, more than half her life. Nelly’s a charmer, a chancer, a lover, a fighter, a liar. And now an estranged father accused of kidnapping the daughter he’s barely ever seen.
On his way to finding Jody, Nelly will save lives, find others who have been lost, reunite loved ones, make enemies from friends, risk his life and the lives of others close to him and continually end up back on his feet after finding himself flat on his face. He’s a man that faces a stark reality, as hard as it may be to admit, that in losing his daughter he finds himself.
14. Strictly Come Dancing (Series 16) | Late 2018 on BBC One
Yes, I know the latest series of Strictly might have just ended, but already I’m looking forward to what has become the biggest entertainment show on telly returning.
Will Shirley Ballas return to the judging panel? Will Tim Lovejoy follow in the footsteps of his Sunday Brunch co-presenter Simon Rimmer and venture out onto the dancefloor? Will Ruth Langsford be able to convince Eamonn Holmes to take part in Strictly?
And what about Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones? Will they finally be given the opportunity to show off their skills and be given a celebrity partner?
We’ve got a few months to find out, but I for one can’t wait!
15. Strike: Career of Evil | Early 2018 on BBC One
The hit BBC One series Strike based on the books by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), has already spawned two fantastic miniseries, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm and in 2018, Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger will return in Career Of Evil.
Burke will return as Strike in Strike: Career of Evil as the war veteran turned private detective operating out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street. Though he’s wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s unique insight and his background as an SIB investigator prove crucial in unravelling complex cases.
Grainger will also return to play Robin, Strike’s assistant. Though she begins as a temporary secretary, managing Strike’s chaotic life, she soon becomes involved with his caseload and begins to see her true potential.
The new case will last two hour-long episodes and when a dismembered leg is sent to Strike’s office, it sends both Cormoran’s and Robin’s lives into disarray, forcing them to confront ghosts from their pasts. Their partnership reaches breaking point as Robin’s wedding approaches and they disagree about how to ensnare a man who abuses children.
16. This Country (Series 2) | Early 2018 on BBC Three
One of the best new comedies of 2017 was BBC Three’s This Country, so it was a no brainer when it was announced that there would be a second series of the mockumentary set in the Cotswold village of Northleach.
The new series will further explore the lives of cousins Kerry and Lee ‘Kurtan’ Mucklowe played by Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper who also write the series.
17. Unforgotten (Series 3) | ITV
Unforgotten, one of the standout dramas of 2017 is returning for a third series with Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar both returning to the roles of DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan.
Once again they will delver delve into an intricate historical investigation, revealing a fresh web of long-buried secrets.
18. A Very English Scandal | BBC One
After two decades away, Hugh Grant is returning to British television alongside Ben Whishaw in new three-part drama A Very English Scandal, based on the bestselling book by John Preston.
Hugh Grant will play disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe, who in 1979 was tried but acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott.
In the late 1960s, homosexuality had only just been decriminalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, had a secret he’s desperate to hide.
As long as his ex-lover Norman Scott is around, Thorpe’s brilliant career is at risk. Thorpe schemes and deceives, until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good.
The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed society forever, illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment. The Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.
Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw will be joined by Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan, Adrian Scarborough, Jason Watkins, Eve Myles, Michele Dotrice and Blake Harrison.
Further cast include Fisayo Akinade, David Bamber, Patrick Barlow, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Paul Hilton, Jonathan Hyde, Alice Orr-Ewing, Steffan Rhodri, Paul Freeman and Susan Wooldridge.