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WHAT TO WATCH 27 August - 2 September

This week’s best telly includes some excellent drama plus the return of The Great British Bake Off and The X Factor. Here are 7 shows you can’t miss this week...

1. Bodyguard

Monday 27th August at Sunday 2nd September at 9pm on BBC One

After Sunday's spectacularly tense series opener, the good news is that this week BBC One are showing two episodes of Jed Mercurio's new drama Bodyguard starring Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden. Episode two will air on Bank Holiday Monday and then episode will air in its usual Sunday night slot.

In episode two, with the UK terror threat level raised to severe, Home Secretary Julia Montague holds secret meetings with the Director General of the Security Service, freezing out her own Minister for Counter Terrorism and the police, led by Commander Anne Sampson.

Specialist Protection officer David Budd is on high alert as Julia’s hardline stance on national security propels her further into the public eye. With his home life becoming more difficult, it appears as if David’s natural animosity towards the Home Secretary is beginning to fade. Pressured to spy on her by senior police officers, where will his loyalties lie?

In episode three, as the capital shudders in the wake of the recent attacks, Specialist Protection Officer PS David Budd is under more pressure than ever to keep the Home Secretary Julia Montague safe.


2. The Great British Bake Off

Tuesday 28th August at 8pm on Channel 4

Now firmly baked in to the Channel 4 schedule, The Great British Bake Off returns as the white tent awaits 12 of the nation's best amateur bakers.

Once again they'll be under the critical eye of judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig returning for presenting duties.

Breaking with tradition, this year the series kicks off with Biscuit Week.


3. First Dates Hotel

Tuesday 28th August at 9:15pm on Channel 4

Straight after The Great British Bake Off the doors will open on First Dates Hotel as Fred Sirieix and the team return for a new series that will see singletons from all across the UK and of all ages indulge their deepest desires in five-star luxury.

Following a painful marriage, glamorous tattooed policewoman Emma has asked Fred to find her 'Viking': a gentle giant who she can grow old with. And when she meets bearded carpenter Luke - 6' 2" of brawn with a heart of gold - she breathlessly exclaims 'you're perfect', in what promises to be one of the most passionate dates in First Dates Hotel history.

Flight attendant David is finally ready to find love again, following the tragic suicide of his husband. He meets fellow Bristolian Andrew, a 5' 5" pocket rocket with a lust for life and a thirst for fine Italian wines. As the empty glasses stack up, it's clear that David and Andrew are itching to take things to the next level, but will their burgeoning romance stand up to the glare of the morning after?

And car saleswoman Chloe from Essex meets railway engineer and 'salty potato' Jem, a mini Donald Trump in the making who dreams of finding a girl to 'build an empire with'. As Chloe and Jem create their own Lady and the Tramp moment over a bowl of spag bol, is the Art of the Deal alive and well in sunny Italy?


4. Keeping Faith

Thursday 30th August at 9pm on BBC One

This week sees the BBC One airing of Keeping Faith come to its conclusion.

With Williams now out of the way, Faith fights for her children in a heated court battle that risks tearing the Howells family apart.

As the clock ticks on Faith's debt, Steve makes a desperate and deadly pact with his former employers to secure her freedom. Tom and Marion must face tough truths, and Faith finally learns the truth behind Evan's disappearance.


5. The X Factor

Saturday 1st September at 8pm on ITV

Possibly the most random judging line-up since the year that they let Nick Grimshaw judge, this year Simon Cowell has flipped the panel on its head and has made himself the only surviving judge. Joining him this year are former contestant Louis Tomlinson, huge pop star Robbie Williams and erm... his wife. Ayda Williams.

Returning as host is Mr Saturday Night, Dermot O’Leary, who will be on hand to guide viewers and contestants alike through their X Factor journey, providing them with a word of advice or a much-needed hug as the contestants perform in front of the judging panel.

This series sees the return of the arena auditions at The SSE Arena, Wembley, where the hopefuls will have to perform not only for the judges but live in front of members of the public, making it the biggest audition of their lives. Should they impress and secure three or more ‘yeses’ they will go through to the judge’s deliberation, where the judges will review and decide who gets to perform in the Six Chair Challenge.

This is all before the competition really heats up with the live shows that will see one act follow in the footsteps of last year's champions Rak-Su.

6. Vanity Fair

Sunday 2nd September at 9pm on ITV

You know the autumn TV schedule is here when ITV launch their latest period drama. This year it's the turn of Vanity Fair which sees Olivia Cooke lead a stellar cast as Becky Sharp in the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

The seven-part series is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows modern heroine Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society.

Cooke will be joined by Johnny Flynn as Dobbin, Martin Clunes as Sir Pitt Crawley, Frances de la Tour as Miss Matilda Crawley, Suranne Jones as Miss Pinkerton and Michael Palin as Thackeray himself.

The ensemble cast also includes Claudia Jessie who plays Becky’s confidante Amelia Sedley, with theatrical titan Simon Russell Beale and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as her parents, and David Fynn as her brother Jos. Tom Bateman takes the role of Rawdon Crawley and Charlie Rowe plays George Osborne.

Continues Monday.


7. The Imitation Game

Sunday 2nd September at 10:05pm on ITV

Yet another new programme launch by ITV and this time it's their latest attempt at a panel show. The Imitation Game is being described as 'a high-energy panel show" which is hosted by Alexander Armstrong and sees team captains and top impressionists Rory Bremner and Debra Stephenson lead teams of the UK’s favourite mimics and comedians in a number of fast-paced games and challenges.

Each week, both teams go head-to-head as they re-enact iconic movie scenes, re-voice news footage, blast out some surprising cover versions and put unlikely words in the mouths of all kinds of celebrities.

Guest panellists range from established stars like Jon Culshaw, Alistair McGowan and Jan Ravens to up-and coming talent such as Luke Kempner and Anil Desai, and the stunning voices of Jess Robinson and US star Christina Bianco.


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