This week’s telly includes two brilliant new dramas, one returning drama and the third and final series of Witless.
Here are the 7 shows you have to watch this week…
1. Silent Witness | Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th January at 9pm on BBC One
Last year, Silent Witness celebrated its twentieth series and the series is showing no signs of slowing down as it returns for yet another series with two episodes each week on consecutive days.
In the first story, Moment Of Surrender, Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) is haunted by her experiences in Mexico and is struggling to come to terms with life back home.
Whilst on leave she seeks out fellow pathologist Sally Vaughan (Emma Fielding) for support. However, a few days later and troubled by the failure of Sally to return her calls, Nikki heads to her house only to find that it has become a crime scene and Sally is nowhere to be found.
NCA Investigator Guy Bernhardt (Alex McQueen) asks Nikki to help him by employing the chief suspect in Sally’s disappearance, pathologist David Cannon (Julian Rhind-Tutt) at the Lyell. As a result, Nikki returns early, much to the surprise of Jack (David Caves) and Clarissa (Liz Carr) with David in tow.
As Jack, Clarissa and Thomas (Richard Lintern) share concerns about Nikki’s wellbeing, a body is found in a reservoir – uncovering the mystery of a 16 year-old murder case.
2. Next of Kin | Monday 8th January at 9pm on ITV
After a surprise last-minute hit with Bancroft towards the end of 2017, ITV are back with another brand new drama.
Next of Kin stars Archie Panjabi and Jack Davenport and follows whip-smart doctor Mona Harcourt who lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy. On the same day that a terrorist attack brings London to a standstill, GP Mona Harcourt receives the devastating news that her brother Kareem has been kidnapped on his way home to the UK from his charity clinic in Lahore.
The situation escalates when Mona realises that her brother’s son Danish, known as Danny, has vanished from university and is being linked to both the bombing and the murder of his father. With the family facing accusations and becoming embroiled in a tangled web of betrayaland conspiracy, Mona finds herself confronted with the ultimate dilemma: how far would you go to keep your family safe?
3. Inside No 9 | Tuesday 9th January at 10pm on BBC Two
Pretty much a two-hander between Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the latest episode of Inside No 9 sees them play Northern double-act Len and Tommy in Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room.
They last apples on stage together 30 years ago after Tommy walked out on Len on that fateful night at the Glasgow Pavilion. And that was the end of Cheese & Crackers, until now where they’ve agreed to perform one last gig in front of an invited audience.
Look out for a quick cameo from Car Share star Sian Gibson towards the end of the episode.
4. Working Class White Men | Tuesday 9th January at 10pm on Channel 4
Rapper turned documentary maker Professor Green (Stephen Manderson) is back with a new two-part documentary, Working Class White Men, this time on Channel 4.
Raised by his Nan on a council estate in Hackney, Professor Green is himself from a working class, low income background. Over a period of six months he follows six working class white men in different parts of the country to understand what life in modern Britain is like for them.
He examines the challenges and barriers these men face in education, work, family life and in the way the rest of society regards them. He explores why many of them feel demonised, forgotten and angry as well as the consequences for Britain if we continue to look away.
5. Witless | Wednesday 10th January from 10am on BBC Three
Could things get any worse for Leanne and Rhona? It’s time to find out as Witless returns for one third and final series.
Their gung-ho attempt to frame nemesis Willy Whelan has backfired. Now, Rhona finds herself trapped in Willy’s secret weapons room as his henchman One-Pack closes in, and Leanne is cornered by trigger-happy teen DJ Sound as F***.
Meanwhile, the gang have uncovered Patrick’s secret, he’s been helping the girls – and now he’ll have to pay. With surprises coming thick and fast, how will the girls escape their most deadly scrape yet?
Read my interview with Kerry Howard & Zoe Boyle here.
All 5 episodes. Episodes will be repeated weekly, Fridays at 11:25pm on BBC One.
6. Kiri | 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.
7. Derry Girls | Thursday 11th January at 10pm on Channel 4
I really wanted to include Derry Girls in my roundup of what to watch last week, but unfortunately with so many brilliant shows launching I just couldn’t squeeze it in, but I do hope you were able to catch Channel 4’s most successful sitcom in years last week.
Not only did it rate well, but it’s really fecking funny. So what is Derry Girls? Well, it’s a new six-part comedy from Lisa McGee. Set in the early 90s, the series follows the lives of four teenage girls living Derry; Erin, Orla, Clare and Michelle as well as James, “the English fella” who has moved to Derry and is forced to join the girls at the all-girl Our Lady Immaculate College.
In this week’s second episode, everyone’s really excited when Sister Michael announces the school trip this year is to Paris. Erin’s keen to cultivate her writing (and a friendship with Charlene Kavanagh, the most popular girl in school), Clare and James want to improve their French, Orla thinks she’s going to meet Nicole and Papa from the Renault Clio adverts and Michelle wants to ride a French fella.
But they don’t bank on the fact that the trip costs £375, each! Back at the Quinn house Uncle Colm, Granda Joe’s extremely boring brother, is visiting and the whole family are losing the will to live. Is Derry Girls a serious contender for best new comedy of 2018? Without a doubt!