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WHAT TO WATCH 11-31 July

As TV winds down for the summer, largely as a result of the pandemic, there are fewer and fewer shows to recommend each week, so for the first time ever I'm going to be combining three weeks of recommendations into one, letting you know the 7 new and returning shows you've still got to look forward to for the rest of July, rather than just the week ahead.

So here are 7 shows you can’t miss over the next three weeks... and if you missed my 10 best shows since the start of lockdown, you can find those here.

1. The Voice Kids

Saturday 11th, 18th and 25th July at 7.25pm on ITV

The Voice UK returned in January for its ninth series and is yet to crown its winner after its live shows were postponed due to the pandemic, but that hasn't stopped The Voice Kids from launching their fourth series as planned this summer.

Filmed shortly before lockdown hit the UK, all but the live final is ready to go as original coaches, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones return alongside new coach Paloma Faith who takes over from Jessie J who joined the show only last year. Paloma is of course no stranger to that big red chair having been a coach in 2016. And as ever, Emma Willis is back to host the show and cheer on singers from the wings as she joins with the hopefuls’ friends and families.

Each coach has nine places to fill on their team and will be pushing their button and turning their chairs for solo singers and double acts, aged 7 to 14. Unlike the adult version, even those who don't win a place in the battles, will get words of advice and encouragement from all four coaches.

When safe to do so, the live final will take place and up for grabs for the winner is a £30,000 bursary towards their musical education, as well as a VIP trip to Universal studios, Orlando.

1-3/8 Continues Saturdays

2. Secrets from the Square

Monday 13th, 20th and 27th July at 8pm on BBC One

It's been a month now since there were any new episodes of EastEnders on BBC One but time has flown by as the absence has been filled on Mondays with Stacey Dooley interviewing pairs of cast members about their time on the soap including Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright, Adam Woodyatt and Letitia and Davood Ghadami and James Bye.

On Monday Stacey will be joined by Max Bowden and Tony Clay who of course are better known as one of Walford's most popular couples, Ben and Callum. Together they'll be reliving classic scenes, sharing their best backstage stories and hinting at what the future holds for Ballum.

And on Monday 20th July it'll be the turn of Diane Parish and Tameka Empson who play Denise and Kim Fox to join Stacey Dooley for a reunion and some juicy behind-the-scenes gossip.

4-6/ Continues Mondays

3. I May Destroy You

Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th July at 10.45pm on BBC One

Ask me to name one of the best shows of the last few years and I'm almost certain that my answer will be I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel's impeccable drama about about assault and consent which sadly comes to an end this week.

Being unable to watch a show in its entirety is usually a downside but with this, I've enjoyed only having two episodes to watch a week. Because believe me, these episodes stick with you for days after watching to it's useful having a week to recover. The series has also been something to really look forward to each week, more than welcome given the current climate.

In the penultimate episode sees Arabella's obsession with a fellow young author, Della, leading to unexpected progress on her book, despite a devastating setback. And Kwame wades into uncharted waters with Tyrone as he attempts to make amends with a disgruntled ex-flame. As for Terry, she has some luck in in work and romance and joins Arabella in staking out the bar where she was spiked.

And in the final episode of the series, Arabella finds herself dragging the last of her demons out from under the bed once and for all as her memory of her assault comes rushing back.

11-12/12 Both episodes available from Monday morning

4. In the Long Run

Thursday 23rd July at 10pm on Sky One

In The Long Run, the semi-autobiographical comedy from Idris Elba, based on his experiences growing up in an East London estate, returns for a third series and this time we're being transported back to 1980s East London, the decade of shell-suits and turtlenecks.

Following the welcome arrival of his mum from Sierra Leone, played by Ellen Thomas, Walter is desperate to impress and worries about whether his life on the Eastbridge will make his Mama proud. Meanwhile younger brother Valentine is worried that Walter's son Kobna is taking his place as the favourite one.

When Agnes and the community gather to make the case for improvements on the estate, Mama even lends a helping hand! For the first time in a while, life is good for Bagpipes but a panic attack reminds him of the fragility of life which brings immediate changes in the De La Croix household.

Idris will be reprising his role as Walter Easmon alongside wife Madeline Appiah as Agnes and Jimmy Akingbola as younger brother Valentine. Bill Bailey and Kellie Shirley also return as Bagpipes and his wife Kirsty, alongside Neil D’Souza as work colleague Rajesh and Sammy Kamara is back on the decks as Kobna.

1-6/6 All episodes available

5. A Suitable Boy

Sunday 26th July at 9pm on BBC One

Like all BBC Two dramas, A Suitable Boy, Andrew Davies' adaptations of Vikram Seth’s international bestseller gets an unexpected promotion to BBC One after the pandemic left their schedule looking rather bare. But if the hype around this series is to be believed then it's great that more people will get a chance to watch it.

After successfully arranging the marriage of her eldest daughter Savita to university lecturer Pran Kapoor, Rupa has her sights set on her spirited younger daughter Lata Mehra, a Literature student played by Tanya Maniktala.

But Lata wants to make her own way in the world. She isn’t interested in romance but her resolve is challenged when she starts to fall for a mysterious fellow student, Kabir Durrani, played by Danesh Razvi.

Pran’s brother is the charming but directionless Maan Kapoor, who becomes bewitched by the singer and courtesan, Saeeda Bai. Maan is a worry to his father, the progressive Revenue Minister Mahesh Kapoor, who can’t let anything unbalance his political career at a crucial moment. As religious tensions mount between Muslims and Hindus in the wake of Partition, India’s first national democratic election approaches.


6. Anthony

Monday 27th July at 8.30pm on BBC One

As well as A Suitable Boy, BBC One will also be treating us to another new drama this month, Anthony. The one-off 90-minute drama has been written by Jimmy McGovern and is the story of the life Anthony Walker could have lived.

In July 2005, the teenager from Liverpool who was a devout Christian and had a love of basketball, was murdered in a racist attack when he was just 18 years old.

Known to his family and friends for his humour, intelligence and compassion, Anthony was halfway through college with dreams of visiting America and studying law at university and this is the story of what could have been but tragically will never be.

Anthony will be played by Toheeb Jimoh and the drama was inspired by conversations Jimmy McGovern had with Anthony's mother Gee Walker, about the boy Anthony was and the man he was to become.


7. BAFTA Television Awards 2020

Friday 31st July on BBC One

Originally due to take place in May, this year's delayed Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will now take place on Friday 31st July, behind closed doors in a ceremony hosted by first-time host Richard Ayoade and will be broadcast as-live on BBC One.

In a bizarre-for-most move, all nominees have already recorded their potential winning speeches as all awards will have to be accepted virtually this year. Leading this year's nominees are Chernobyl, The Crown, Fleabag and Giri/Haji.

Those nominated for the first time and. hoping to win include Callum Turner, Frankie Boyle, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Guz Khan, Helen Behan, Jasmine Jobson, Joe Absolom, Josh O’Connor, Mo Gilligan, Naomi Ackie, Ncuti Gatwa, Sarah Kendall, Sian Clifford, Stellan Skarsgård, Takehiro Hira and Youssef Kerkour.

The 2020 BAFTA TV nominations in full are available here.



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