This week's best telly includes a new drama starring David Tennant as Alexander Litvinenko, the return of Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger in Strike, the return of BBC Three sitcom Bad Education, Chris Kamara opening up about his recent diagnosis and we say goodbye to an EastEnders icon.
Here are 5 TV shows you can't miss this week...
1. Strike: Troubled Blood
Sunday 11th and Monday 12th December at 9pm on BBC One
Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger return as Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott in the latest adaptation of Robert Galbraith's best-selling crime novels.
Private detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he’s approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough, who went missing under mysterious circumstances in 1974.
Strike’s never tackled a cold case, before let alone one 40 years old, but despite the slim chance of success he’s intrigued and takes it on, adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency Robin Ellacott are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.
As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. And they learn even cases 40 years old can prove to be deadly.
1-2/4 Continues weekly. All episodes available at launch
Monday 12th December at 7.35pm on BBC One
Following the sad passing of June Brown in April 2022, EastEnders will be bidding a fond farewell to Dot Branning with a special extended episode centred around her funeral as the residents of Albert Square line the streets to watch and say goodbye to Dot.
On the morning of her funeral, Sonia still hasn't written her eulogy and when Lauren arrives for the funeral, she joins Ricky, Jack and Sonia and they reminisce about Dot and Sonia admits her writer's block.
In a bid for inspiration, Sonia uses Dot’s spare key to the laundrette to let herself in. Finding her there, Martin comforts Sonia who is inconsolable over the unwritten eulogy. When she says she can’t do it, Martin tries to encourage her to speak from the heart.
When Colin arrives to pay his respects, Sharon is surprised and delighted and Sonia and the rest of Dot’s family are overwhelmed to see the outpouring of love for Dot as she leaves Albert Square for the last time.
As the mourners gather at the church, Mary reveals that Lofty is en route and Sharon is touched that they all came. And just as Sonia is about to deliver the eulogy, Lofty arrives very late at the church.
Surprised to see Disa at the church, Kathy and her share a hug and Disa says she has a lot to thank Dot for. And Kathy reflects on how Dot took people in, including Disa and Donna when others turned their backs.
3. Chris Kamara: Lost for Words
Tuesday 13th December at 9.15pm on ITV1
In this two-part documentary, Lost for Words, renowned TV presenter Chris Kamara embarks on a very personal journey as he seeks to discover a deeper insight into his recent diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech (AOS).
In what's being described as an uplifting authored documentary, footballing legend Chris Kamara will give viewers unprecedented access into life with AOS, a speech condition in which a person has trouble pronouncing words correctly and consistently, and his hard-fought battle to accept his diagnosis.
Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara is well-loved and revered for his unique and iconic football punditry. His distinctive tones and presenting style have made him one of the country’s best-loved presenters and, although his recent diagnosis hasn’t slowed him down, the Ninja Warrior host has admitted to finding it difficult to watch himself on TV and is now wondering whether or not he should continue.
From his initial denials through to his diagnosis and now to the disciplined way he manages his therapy, the documentary will follow Kammy as he seeks advice from experts and meets others with AOS who are also navigating their way through this rare condition, all whilst shining a light and starting a conversation about a condition doctors know very little about.
Thursday 15th December on ITVX
Following last week's launch of ITVX, their latest drama, Litvinenko, launches this week and stars David Tennant as Alexander Litvinenko.
Written by George Kay, produced by Patrick Spence and directed by Jim Field Smith, Litvinenko tells the story of the determined Scotland Yard Officers who worked for ten years to prove who was responsible.
The drama will relate how in November 2006 two police officers were called to University College Hospital in London to interview a patient in declining health. The Patient was Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.
The drama also focuses on the story of Marina, played by Margarita Levieva, Alexander’s fearless, dignified widow who fought tirelessly to persuade the British Government to publicly name her husband’s killers and acknowledge the role of the Russian State in his murder.
During the police interviews, Alexander provided meticulous details from his hospital bedside about the events leading up to his illness. His information would ultimately help detectives track down two Russians who had poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium 210, a highly toxic radioactive substance.
1-4/4 All episodes available at launch
5. Bad Education: Reunion Special
Thursday 15th December at 9pm on BBC Three
Ahead of a brand new series in 2023, hit BBC Three sitcom Bad Education returns this week with a special 45-minute episode that reunites useless teacher and big kid Alfie Wickers with his old students one last time.
It’s near the end of term at Abbey Grove, and Alfie is prepping for a careers presentation, which is really just an excuse to reunite all the old Class K and have a big party.
Meanwhile, Stephen has been teaching at Abbey Grove for six months, but none of his old school friends knows this. He has been maintaining the fiction that he is now a musical theatre star on the rise and tells his pupils (the new Class K) that they cannot blow his cover.