This week's best telly includes an ITV adaptation of Graham Norton's debut novel, the return of Top Boy, this year's Comic Relief fundraiser event plus two fantastic travel adventures and more!
Here are 7 TV shows you can't miss this week...
1. The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
Sunday 13th March at 9pm on BBC Two
After a Covid-enforced break, one of the busiest men in television, Romesh Ranganathan is back with more Misadventures and he starts his latest travels by visiting Sierra Leone, a country with a dark past but great hopes for the future.
When trying to place Sierra Leone, Romesh finds it impossible to think of anything other than the country’s dark history - a horrific civil war, child soldiers, blood diamonds and Ebola. But with the green light to travel for the first time since the start of the pandemic, he is exploring the country to find out whether Brits could and should plan their next holiday here.
Rom is picked up by Gwyn Jay Allen, a local musician who’s agreed to spend a week showing him around and opening his eyes to incredible places, either unknown or forgotten.
They venture through spectacular national parks, hoping to witness extraordinary and rare wildlife such as the elusive pygmy hippo, sample the national drink poyo, take in miles and miles of the most incredible beaches and meet locals living truly off-grid. They then settle down for the night at a once-in-a-lifetime camping spot on a remote archipelago.
But as safe as the country feels, creatures aside, Rom can’t avoid its complex and brutal past, which has lasting effects today. Visiting Bunce Island’s slave fort, the capital Freetown, a diamond mine and the incredible athletes that make up the Flying Stars amputee football club, he learns about the trauma endured by Sierra Leonians - their unbelievable resilience and astonishing hopes for the future, of which tourism forms a key part.
1/3 Continues weekly
Monday 14th March at 9pm on ITV
If there's one thing ITV aren't short of, it's new dramas and this week sees the launch of Holding, a four-part adaptation of Graham Norton's debut novel, directed by Kathy Burke and written by Dominic Treadwell- Collins and Karen Cogan.
It stars Conleth Hill as local police officer Sergeant PJ Collins, a gentle being who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work. He is one of life’s outsiders, lovable, but lonely and a bit rubbish at his job.
When the body of long-lost local legend Tommy Burke is discovered, PJ is called to solve a serious crime for the first time in his career, and he finally has to connect with the village he has tried hard to avoid.
What follows is a compelling murder mystery with a distinctive and darkly comic tone, exploring themes of grief, community, family, and various shades of love. Also stars Siobhán McSweeney, Charlene McKenna, Helen Behan, Pauline McLynn and Brenda Fricker.
1/4 Continues weekly
Wednesday 16th March at 10pm on Sky Comedy
After a successful first series in 2021, Bloods, the hit comedy created by Nathan Bryon and Samson Kayo and written by Nathan Bryon and Paul Doolan is back with the first part of its second series.
The comedy, about a gang of eccentric paramedics working in South London, sees Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks return as odd couple/dream team paramedics Maleek and Wendy. And this series, they find new sources of conflict when they are involved in a malpractice investigation and Wendy's deeply irritating son starts work at the depot.
Elsewhere, best friends Darrell and Darryl are faced with the prospect that their bromance might be at an end, Kareshma has started to mellow under Gary's watchful eye and team leader Jo continues to carry a flame for widower Lawrence whilst having her authority challenged by counsellor George.
Read my interview with Jane Horrocks here.
1/5 Continues weekly. All episodes available at launch
4. Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World
Thursday 17th March at 9pm on ITV
If I'm honest, I'd watch Joanna Lumley do anything and go anywhere so I'm delighted that she's back with another travel series. This time, in Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World, the national treasure goes on an adventure visiting three of the world's greatest cities; Berlin, Paris and Rome.
Joanna will be heading off the beaten track to explore and capture the secret delights of these magnificent destinations, to learn more about their history and cultural traditions and revel in the eclectic hustle and bustle of the people that give each city such a unique identity. From the quirky to the downright eccentric, Joanna’s ambition is to get under the skin of these great capitals and to explore their lesser-known gems.
In the first episode, she heads to Paris where her first view of the city is from a hot air balloon. Whilst there, she visits the damaged Notre-Dame, meets the heiress Daphne Guinness; buys a vintage Chanel suit and meets Ibrahim, refugee turned inner-city beekeeper before finishing at the infamous Moulin Rouge.
1/3 Continues weekly
5. Top Boy
Friday 18th March on Netflix
As Top Boy returns for what Netflix is calling its second series - when actually, it's the fourth overall series if you take into account the ones on Channel 4 - Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson are back as Dushane and Sully alongside Micheal Ward and Simbi Ajikawo.
This time it's bigger than just Summerhouse. Loyalty before everything.
Dushane wants to expand his empire beyond the streets. But with a huge investment, partners abroad and family crises, more money means more problems.
1-10/10 All episodes available at launch
Friday 18th March on Apple TV+
Apple TV+ are having a great 2022 with a number of great new dramas, their latest, WeCrashed stars Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway and is based on the hit Wondery podcast WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork from Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello.
Inspired by actual events the eight-part drama tells the love story at the centre of WeWork, which grew from a single co-working space into a global brand worth $47 billion in under a decade. Then, in less than a year, its value plummeted. What happened?
It also stars Kyle Marvin, America Ferrera and O-T Fagbenle.
1-3/8 Continues weekly
7. Comic Relief 2022
Friday 18th March at 7pm on BBC One
The UK’s biggest night of comedy and entertainment is back as Comic Relief comes live from MediaCityUK in Salford and joining Sir Lenny Henry live from the studio will be Zoe Ball, Paddy McGuinness, Alesha Dixon and David Tennant. Plus The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon will be hosted by Joel Dommett and AJ Odudu.
Once again, Comic Relief will bring together stars of stage, screen and the movies for an epic three-hour comedy special, entertaining the nation with hilarious sketches, live performances, big surprises and stunning music acts; in a celebration to raise much-needed cash for good causes at home and across the world.
Some of this year's highlights include a return to Rock Profile for David Walliams and Matt Lucas, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders up to no good as 'The Extras' in The Repair Shop, Kylie Minogue joins forces with the cast of Ghosts for a one-off sketch and reigning Strictly champions Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will perform their wonderful waltz to Ellie Goulding’s How Long Will I Love You in the Comic Relief studio. And so much more!