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WHAT TO WATCH 12-18 September

This week's best telly includes some brilliant new drama including Sky Atlantic's The Third Day starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, ITV's highly anticipated Des starring David Tennant, Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins and the return of Netflix's unique police procedural Criminal.

Here are 5 shows you can't miss this week...

1. Britain's Got Talent

Saturday 12th September at 8pm on ITV

With a few more weeks to wait until Little Mix The Search and even longer for this year's Strictly Come Dancing, the saviour of Saturday night telly really is Britain's Got Talent which continues its (pre-recorded) semi-finals this week with 8 more acts competing for one of two places in October's live final.

Performing this week are dancers Aaron and Jasmine, 10-year-old singer Souparnika Nair, dance act The Coven, dog act Amanda and Miracle, comedian Allan Finnegan, magician Damien O'Brien and Amanda's Golden Buzzer, mother and daughter singing duo Honey and Sammy.

Guest judge Ashley Banjo, who's filling in for Simon Cowell whilst he recovers from his back injury, returns alongside Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and new head judge Amanda Holden as they collectively put one more act through to the final, joining comedian Steve Royle. But we get our say too, after each semi-final airs we get our chance to put one more act through to the final.

2. Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club

Saturday 12th September at 10pm on ITV

One thing I've really missed during the last six months has been going to my favourite comedy clubs and watching comedians perform and ITV's latest series, Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club attempts to bring some of that atmosphere back, albeit on a small screen in our living rooms.

Each week, Jonathan Ross will be joined by resident comedian Mawaan Rizwan and some of the most exciting stand-ups in the UK, whether established or new to the scene - which makes a nice change!

The line-up for episode one is Rob Beckett alongside Kae Kurd, Flo & Joan, Sophie Duker, Sukh Ojla and Leo Reich who happen to be some of the brightest stars of the future.

Other acts confirmed for the series include Sikisa, Jordan Brookes, Babatunde Aleshe, Tom Allen, Lloyd Griffith, Nigel Ng, Aurie Styla, Katherine Ryan, Ray Badran, Michael Odewale and Kerry Godliman.


3. Des

Monday 14th - Wednesday 16th September at 9pm on ITV

From the second some shows are announced, you know they're going to be good. And there's no better example of that than ITV's latest new drama Des which brings together three of our finest actors, David Tennant, Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins to tell the true story of Muswell Hill killer Dennis Nilsen and one of the most infamous criminal cases in UK history.

David Tennant takes on the role of Nilsen who was a local civil servant who spent five years murdering boys and young men he met on the streets of Soho from 1978 to 1983, befriending them before offering them food or lodgings for the evening back at his North London flat. His victims were often homeless or living off grid.

When he was finally caught on 9 February 1983, Nilsen had murdered a total of fifteen men over a period of five years, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer of the time. After his arrest, Nilsen was astonishing in his honesty: admitting outright to all fifteen murders in the police car outside his flat. But infuriatingly for the investigating detectives, he couldn’t remember any of his victims’ names.

With no apparent motive, inconclusive forensic evidence and most of Nilsen’s victims living off-grid, the police started the biggest manhunt investigation in UK history. This time not for the murderer, but for the murdered.

The story is told through the prism of three isolated men, Nilsen, Detective Peter Jay, played by Daniel Mays and Brian Masters, Nilsen's biographer who's played by Jason Watkins.

Having seen all three episodes (sorry, I couldn't wait) I can safely say it's phenomenal. The acting, the writing (Luke Neal), the direction (Lewis Arnold) all worked together beautifully to create a modern television masterpiece. If you only watch one TV show this week/month/rest of the year, make sure it's Des.


4. The Third Day

Tuesday 15th September at 9pm on Sky Atlantic

Sky Atlantic's new psychological thriller The Third Day, stars Jude Law and Naomie Harris and is told over three stand-alone but interconnected stories, set on an alluring and mysterious British island where all is not as it seems.

Written by Dennis Kelly, the first three episodes, Summer, sees Jude Law's character Sam drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast where he is inexplicably drawn into the island’s ritualistic way of life. As the lines between fact and fantasy blur, Sam finds himself immersed in an emotional quest which puts him at odds with the islanders and begins to threaten their way of life.

The final three episodes,Winter, stars Naomie Harris as Helen, whose quest to seek the truth sees her arrive on the island to find her and her family caught between the island’s deeply entrenched, splintered forces, which precipitates a fractious battle to decide its fate.

On Saturday 3rd October, Autumn, a theatrical event following a single day in real time will be broadcast on Sky Arts and online, ahead of the remaining three episodes, Winter, which air from 6th October. Events will be captured live and in one continuous take, featuring members of the cast including Jude Law - inviting viewers deeper into the mysterious and suspenseful world of The Third Day, blurring and distorting the lines between what’s real and what’s not.


5. Criminal

Wednesday 16th September on Netflix

Criminal originally launched as an anthology series with three episodes set in the UK, three in Germany, three in Spain and three in France, but as the series returns with four new cases, four new suspects and four new guest stars, the series is now solely set in the UK.

For those of you unfamiliar with series one, Criminal is a refreshing new take on the police procedural, stripping everything back to focus solely on the interrogation between suspects and the police - in other words, the best bits from Line of Duty - and takes place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite.

Lee Ingleby, Katherine Kelly, Rochenda Sandall and Shubham Saraf return as the interrogating police officers whilst Kit Harington, Sharon Horgan, Sophie Okonedo and Kunal Nayyar are this series' guest stars, sitting just across the table.

You don't have to watch series one before series two, as each story is standalone, but with guest stars including David Tennant, Hayley Atwell and Youssef Kerkour - why would you not want to catch up on what you missed?



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