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WHAT TO WATCH 27-31 December

New dramas and a host of returning favourites help us see out 2023!

Before we welcome in 2024, there's still plenty of new telly to enjoy including a new Agatha Christie mystery, a new drama inspired by the trial for Viagra and a new series from Russell T Davies starring Helena Bonham Carter as Crossroads star Noele Gordon.

Plus, Gary Kemp and Martin Kemp return with another mockumentary, Would I Lie to You? is back for its 17th series, Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse treat us to a festive Gone Fishing and it's time to shout "Take it off!" at the telly again as The Masked Singer UK returns.

Here are 7 TV shows you can't miss this week...

1. Murder Is Easy

Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th December at 9pm on BBC One

An Agatha Christie mystery is a must for this time of year and thankfully this year it's the turn of Murder Is Easy, which follows what happens when on a train to London in England in 1954, Fitzwilliam meets Miss Pinkerton who tells him that a killer is on the loose in the sleepy English village of Wychwood under Ashe.

The villagers believe the deaths are mere accidents, but Miss Pinkerton knows otherwise - and when she's later found dead on her way to Scotland Yard, Fitzwilliam feels he must find the killer before they can strike again. Because for a certain kind of person, murder is easy.

Joining Penelope Wilton as Miss Pinkerton and David Jonsson as Fitzwilliam are Morfydd Clark as Bridget, Penelope Wilton as Miss Pinkerton, Sinead Matthews as Miss Waynflete, Tom Riley as Lord Whitfield, Douglas Henshall as Major Horton, Mathew Baynton as Dr Thomas, Mark Bonnar as Reverend Humbleby, Nimra Bucha as Mrs Humbleby, Tamzin Outhwaite as Mrs Pierce, Jon Pointing as Rivers, and Phoebe Licorish making her screen debut as Rose.

1-2/2 Continues nightly. All episodes available at launch

2. Nolly

Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th December at 9pm on ITV1

Having originally launched on ITVX in January, Russell T Davies' three-part drama Nolly, which explores Noele Gordon's shock sacking from Crossroads is finally getting its outing on ITV1, starring Helena Bonham Carter in the title role.

Noele, or Nolly to her friends, was a legend in her own lifetime. As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, she was one of the most famous people in Britain. She was a TV legend, Queen of the Midlands, and darling of the establishment until it turned on her and betrayed her.

In 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning, and with no explanation. With the boss’s words “all good things must come to an end” ringing in her ears, Noele Gordon found herself thrown out of the show that was her life for over 18 years.

Nolly also stars Augustus Prew as Tony Adams, Nolly’s Crossroads co-star, devoted friend, confidante, and her occasional chauffeur, Mark Gatiss as the inimitable entertainer Larry Grayson, who also shared a close and enduring friendship with Gordon and Richard Lintern as Ronnie Allen, who played Crossroads’ suave hotel manager David Hunter.

1-3/3 Continues nightly. All episodes available at launch 

3. Would I Lie to You?

Friday 29th December at 8.30pm on BBC One

Quite possibly the greatest panel show on television, Would I Lie to You? is back for a brand new series with Rob Brydon back in the host's chair alongside team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell.

Joining them for the first show of the new series, are Alex Jones, Chris McCausland, Su Pollard and Rav Wilding who each reveal extraordinary stories about themselves. But are they telling the truth or making it all up?

1/9 Continues weekly

4. Men Up

Friday 29th December at 9pm on BBC One

BBC One's new feature-length drama, Men Up, tells the story of five ordinary Welshmen who embark on an extraordinary journey when they take part in the trial of a new drug that would later become Viagra.

Inspired by the trial for Viagra which was held in Swansea’s Morriston Hospital in 1994, this fictionalised account stars Iwan Rheon as Meurig, who yearns for intimacy with his wife, Ffion, played by Alex Roach. He loves her with all his heart but feels trapped by his inability to rekindle the spark in their marriage. He’ll do anything to reignite the flames. Anything but talk to her.

Paul Rhys plays Tommy, a gay man who desperately lies about his sexuality because the trial was set up for straight sex. Spurred on by his friend and clinical nurse Moira Davies, played by Joanna Page, how far will his lies go to find happiness?

Steffan Rhodri plays Colin who lives an isolated life with his crossword puzzles after his wife’s death. He thinks he’s found the one in Teresa, played by Lisa Palfrey, his phone pal from the Lonely Hearts column. But when she asks to meet in person, fear sets in. It’s been so long since he’s been with a woman. What if she wants to consummate their budding romance?

Phaldut Sharma plays Peetham ‘Pete’ Shah who has a seemingly perfect middle-class existence. A nice job, a wonderful wife in Alys, played by Alexandria Riley, who has a new lust for life hosting lingerie and sex toy parties. But they’ve lost their spark. Blaming his impotency, he sees a fix-all problem in this tiny white pill (which didn't become blue until much later). Can it shrink the gulf between them?

And Eddie, played by Mark Lewis Jones. is a bulldog of a bloke. A seemingly strong man but beneath the surface is a vulnerability. Desperate to please his wife, can this trial fix his problems?

Read my interview with Iwan Rheon tomorrow (Thursday 28th December),


5. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Hogmanay Fishing

Friday 29th December at 9pm on BBC Two

It's one of the best series on television, so when Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse embark on a festive special of Gone Fishing, it always promises to be unmissable.

This year, Bob, Paul and Ted travel to Scotland to taste the traditional Hogmanay celebrations it has to offer. As well as fishing the rivers Dee, Tay and Ericht, they will be joined by an old friend for dinner, and a very special guest performs at their New Year’s Eve party.


6. The Kemps: All Gold

Friday 29th December at 10pm on BBC Two

Spandau Ballet’s Gary and Martin Kemp are back with more television Gold in the shape of The Kemps: All Gold, the follow-up to their hit 2020 mockumentary The Kemps: All True.

This time, award-winning documentary filmmaker Rhys Thomas OBE follows the brothers over a whole year as they make a biopic, get divorced, and form a supergroup. Naturally, not everything goes to plan.

And Michael Kitchen returns as the Kemps’ long-suffering manager, alongside several big-name cameos.


7. The Masked Singer UK

Saturday 30th December at 7pm on ITV1

Joel Dommett returns to host the fifth series of ITV's hit talent show The Masked Singer UK in which 12 new celebrities compete undercover in elaborate costumes, keeping their true identities under wraps in TV's craziest guessing game.

As each celebrity performs, a superstar panel of detectives made up of Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan are left to decipher the clues and unlock TV’s best-kept secret. Only AFTER being eliminated are the celebrities’ true identities revealed, as they are unmasked on stage. 

This weekend, the first 6 masked singers battle it out. before the first celebrity’s true identity is revealed at the end of the show. And throughout the series, expect tougher clues, phenomenal performances, and more jaw-dropping reveals as once again we ask “Who is behind the Mask?”.

1/8 Continues weekly


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