WHAT TO WATCH: 1-7 January

This week’s telly includes a new James Norton drama, the return of Inside No. 9 and Will & Grace plus the return of three huge shows!

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

1. Grandpa’s Great Escape | New Year’s Day at 6:55pm on BBC One

Christmas Eve saw the latest David Walliams adaptation air on Sky One, but now Walliams is back on BBC One with Grandpa’s Great Escape in which he stars alongside Jennifer Saunders, Tom Courtenay and Samantha Spiro.

Based on Walliams’ book Grandpa’s Great Escape, the TV adaptation tells the tale of Grandpa, a World War II flying ace, who now sadly suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. When his family can no longer look after him he is moved to an old people’s home called Twilight Towers, run by Miss Dandy.

It soon becomes clear Miss Dandy is running Twilight Towers for her own ulterior motives, and it is up to Grandpa and his grandson Jack to make a daring escape. Failure could have the most dire consequences, but success will give Grandpa a final chance to relive his past – and once again take to the sky in his beloved Spitfire.


2. McMafia | New Year’s Day & Tuesday 2nd January at 9pm on BBC One

James Norton returns to BBC One in McMafia, a new eight-part series which charts the journey of Alex Godman as he is drawn deeper and deeper into the world of organised crime.

Russian crime boss Vadim Kalyagin meets with his Indian associate Benny Chopra to discuss their control of Mumbai’s main port. As Vadim leaves the meeting, his vehicle is blown up by a car bomb. It’s not long before his allies have the name of the man believed to be behind the assassination attempt…

Alex Godman, a successful young hedge fund manager, joins his family at a charity gala, his father Dimitri, a depressed Russian exile, his socialite mother Oksana, his beloved and larger-than-life uncle Boris (David Dencik), his wayward sister Katya, and his British girlfriend Rebecca.

When his hedge fund comes under fire, following rumours that they’ve been trading in embargoed Russian stocks, investors start to withdraw their money in droves. Alex tries to find new clients, but struggles against the prejudices that stem from his Russian background.

When Alex approaches his uncle Boris for help he mentions a wealthy Israeli friend of his, a shipping magnate named Semiyon Kleiman (David Strathairn). Alex gratefully agrees to a meeting, but it soon becomes clear that Semiyon, his money and his intentions are not as legitimate as they first seemed.

The series will debut with two episodes on consecutive nights before continuing Sunday nights at 9pm.


3. Celebrity Big Brother | Tuesday 2nd January at 9pm on Channel 5

For the first time in Celebrity Big Brother history, the series will launch with an all-female cast of celebrity housemates in a salute to a centenary of women’s suffrage.

As the nation marks 100 years since women won the right to vote for the very first time, this year’s CBB will initially explore how the all-female housemates interact, from politicians to performing artists, as they enter the house first, ahead of the celebrity male housemates.

Over the course of the series, as the male counterparts enter the house, the housemates will take part in a series of entertaining tasks and hidden experiments which will test their assumptions, challenge gender stereotypes and reveal fascinating truths about what it is to be a woman and man in the 21st century.

Take a first look around this year’s house here.

4. Inside No. 9 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!


5. Will & Grace | Friday 5th January at 10pm on Channel 5

After 12 years away, Will & Grace returned to US television in 2017 but when the series began in September, no UK broadcaster had picked the series up, leaving many fans disappointed that the series may never air in the UK.

Thankfully, Channel 5 delivered an early Christmas present when it announced that it had bought the rights to the new season and will be showing it Friday nights at 10pm, sandwiched between Celebrity Big Brother.

Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes reprise their infamous roles as Will Truman, Grace Adler, Karen Walker and Jack McFarland in a brand new 16-episode season. And the good news is that Channel 5 have also agreed to showing the already green-lit second season (or tenth depending on how you’re counting).


6. The Voice UK | Saturday 6th January at 8pm on ITV

Kicking off what’s set to be a bumper weekend of entertainment on ITV is there return of The Voice UK which this year welcomes Olly Murs to the coaching panel alongside will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Jennifer Hudson and Emma Willis returns as host.

The series begins as every series before it has, with the blind auditions and the acts will be hoping they have what it takes to get the coaches to hit their buttons and turn their famous red chairs.

Will 2018 be the year that The Voice UK finally finds a star? Who knows?! But here’s hoping. Previous winners Jermain Jackman, Kevin Simm and last year’s winner Mo Adeniran showed huge potential for a successful career in music but they haven’t even come close to the successes of contestants on The X Factor.

7. Dancing On Ice | Sunday 7th January at 6pm on ITV

Dancing On Ice began in 2006 and ran for 9 years with 8 series and an all-star series in 2014. But now after six years away from our screens, 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.