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WHAT TO WATCH 21-27 August

This week's best telly includes this year's Love Island final, a trip down memory lane for Ruby Wax, a new school-set documentary for Channel 4, a new host for Mastermind and The Last Leg is back to support the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

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

1. When Ruby Wax Met...

Sunday 22nd August at 9pm on BBC Two

Ruby Wax’s interviews in the 1990s were some of the most talked-about shows on TV. Before social media and breaking all conventions, Ruby revealed a totally different side to some of the biggest stars, and fallen stars, in the world. These sensational series have never been repeated and Ruby has never watched them back... until now.

With 25 years more wisdom and an MA in Cognitive Therapy from Oxford, Ruby revisits these extraordinary encounters and re-evaluates fame and infamy and the end of the 20th century and today.

The series opens with one of Ruby's last interviewees, Donald Trump. It’s an edge-of-the-seat encounter and an uncomfortable watch for Ruby, but quietly revelatory as is her fascinating chat with Mr Trump's then-girlfriend, model Melania Knauss.

Ruby walks us through the genesis of her boundary-busting celebrity interview technique, originating in her studio The Full Wax, which crossed genres and created a fearless new form of entertainment. As Ruby moved away from the studio and leaned into redefining interviews, we revisit early guests Carrie Fisher, Goldie Hawn and Tom Hanks.

The final interviewee is the central figure of the trial of the 20th century, OJ Simpson. Ruby's unrivalled access to the man himself produced a first-hand source that is still as compelling as on its first screening and, given how the story has unfolded since it proves fascinating viewing alongside Ruby's contemporary take on events.

1/3 Continues weekly

2. Mastermind

Monday 23rd August at 7.30pm on BBC Two

It's not often a show that's been around for 49 years makes it onto my weekly recommendations, but - and I've started, so I'll finish... as Mastermind returns with its first new host since John Humphrys took over from Clive Anderson in 2003, the appointment of Clive Myrie, was worth celebrating.

The quiz show, famed for its simplicity, sees contenders take a seat on the famous black chair under the glare of the spotlight and the ticking clock in an attempt to become the next Mastermind champion.

Each contender is quizzed for two minutes on the Specialist Subject of their choice, before being tested in the second round on their general knowledge, for a further two-and-a-half minutes.

In the first heat of this brand new series, Clive Myrie puts four contenders to the test as they answer questions on specialist subjects including Bruce Springsteen, Switzerland and Sir Roger Moore.

1/30 Continues weekly

3. Love Island: The Live Final

Monday 23rd August at 9pm on ITV2

After 8 long weeks, the time has come for this year's series of Love Island (which only really got going during Casa Amor in week 5) to crown one couple, Love Island winners 2021.

But who will it be? After Thursday's shock split between Jake and Liberty, resulting in a walkout on Friday, just four couples; Chloe and Toby, Faye and Teddy, Kaz and Tyler, Millie and Liam, are left. Each hoping to win the public's affections and that £50,000 prize.

Laura Whitmore will be live from the villa to catch up with this year's islanders and crown the winning couple. Has it been a vintage series? Moments have been, but overall, no. Have I still watched every night, regardless? Yes.


4. The Last Leg of Tokyo 2020

Tuesday 24th - Friday 27th August at 10pm on Channel 4

Almost nine years to the day since Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker first burst onto our screens with The Last Leg, a show commissioned to highlight the London 2012 Paralympics and tackle the tricky questions viewers wanted to ask, the loveable trio are back at the heart of Channel 4's prime-time schedule throughout the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Across 12 nights, they'll broadcast live from the BT Studios in the heart of London’s Olympic Village in Stratford, rounding up and reflecting on the biggest sporting stories of the day, with comedian Rosie Jones as the show's roving reporter, bringing all the latest news from the ground in Tokyo.

Each night, they'll be joined in the studio by friends and family of the Paralympians and will connect with Japan for live links and interviews with the competitors and medal winners.

Not ones to miss out on the action, The Last Leg of Tokyo 2020 will also see the boys have a shot and compete in 12 different Paralympic sports filmed at the London Olympic Stadium across three days.

Read my interview with Adam Hills here.

1-4/12 Continues nightly

5. Sixteen: Class of 2021

Thursday 26th August at 9pm on Channel 4

In this brand new four-part series on Channel 4, the Year 11 pupils of The Link Academy in Dudley, were given their own camera to record their final year with personal video diaries, documenting what has possibly been the most challenging period in living memory, juggling lockdowns, testing and exam chaos.

We follow them as they turn 16, prepare to take their GCSEs and make major decisions about their future, all in the midst of the global pandemic.

The pupils speak of their ambitions and optimism for the future, mixed with their anxiety about the potential longer-term consequences of such a turbulent year, and the natural trials and tribulations of teenage life - relationships, parties and establishing their own identities under such extraordinary circumstances.

Episode one begins in September 2020 and after six months out of school during the first national lockdown, the students are back to start their final year at an unprecedented moment in British history.

With mock exams just around the corner, the pressure is on for Callum, Kara, Sade, Aaminah, Jack and Grace and with the pandemic still looming large, if the school has more Covid cases, the whole of year 11 will be sent home.

1/4 Continues weekly


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