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WHAT TO WATCH 5-11 March

This week's best telly is full of new drama including three novel adaptations; The Ipcress File, Our House and The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.

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

1. The Ipcress File

Sunday 6th March at 9pm on ITV

ITV's new Sunday night drama The Ipcress File has been adapted from Len Deighton's globally renowned novel by Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge and sees Joe Cole take on the iconic role of British spy Harry Palmer alongside Ashley Thomas, Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander.

Set in the 1960s, against the backdrop of Cold War Europe, The Ipcress File follows British army sergeant Harry Palmer who is on the make in Berlin. In this newly partitioned city, a sharp working-class young man with sophisticated tastes can make a lot of money.

Wholesaler, retailer, fixer, smuggler, Harry’s varied interests bring him into contact with everything and everyone – until the law catches up with him and it all comes crashing to a halt.

Harry finds himself sentenced to eight years in a grim military jail in England, all his prospects abruptly torn away. But his impressive network and efficiency have not gone unnoticed, and a gentleman from British intelligence has a proposal. To avoid prison, Harry Palmer will become a spy. And the case on which he cuts his teeth will be The Ipcress File.

Harry’s links to the man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist result in him being conscripted for a dangerous undercover mission that takes him from The Beatles’ London to the Berlin Wall, from the back alleys of Beirut to the white-hot sands of a nuclear atoll in the Pacific.

1/6 Continues weekly

2. Servant of the People

Sunday 6th March at 10.35pm on Channel 4

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become known around the world as a charismatic and defiant leader and a key figure in determining the course of the current crisis in his country. But before being elected Ukraine’s president in a landslide victory in 2019, he was an actor and comedian.

In 2015, he produced and starred in Servant of the People, a poignant precursor to his real-life presidential victory in April 2019, which Channel 4 have acquired the rights to and after airing the first episode on the main channel, will make series one and two available on All4 at a later date.

The series explores what happens when an ordinary but honest man gets elected president. Zelenskyy plays a modest, humble high school teacher who accidentally becomes Ukrainian President after a video of him condemning government corruption goes viral on social media.

It then follows Vasilyl's new life as president. He has no interest in changing his life. He wants to stay the same - live in his flat with his parents, borrow money from his friends at the end of the month and take his bike to work. It's just that now he's the most powerful man in the country.

1-3/23 Continues at a later date on All4

3. Our House

Monday 7th to Thursday 10th March at 9pm on ITV

Based on the bestselling novel by Louise Candlish, ITV's new drama Our House starring Tuppence Middleton and Martin Compston as estranged husband and wife Fi and Bram Lawson and Rupert Penry-Jones as the enigmatic Toby.

Our House narrates the story of Fiona Lawson who arrives home one day to find strangers moving into her house. With all her family’s possessions and furniture nowhere to be seen, Fi believes there’s been a huge mistake and insists her home isn’t for sale. With events spiralling beyond her control, we feel her panic rising as she can’t reach her estranged husband, Bram.

As she reflects upon the safe space in which she and her family had made a life together, Fi begins to peel back the layers of her relationship and discovers her husband has also disappeared. With her life shattered, she realises the secrets and lies have only just begun, but her husband isn’t the only one with things to hide.

1-4/4 Continues nightly

4. Life and Death in the Warehouse

Monday 7th March at 9pm on BBC Three

Inspired by the real-world accounts of warehouse workers from many different companies in Britain and around the world, this new one-off drama from the team behind Killed By My Debt and Murdered By My Father, tells the fictional story of warehouse worker Alys, whose childhood friend Megan joins the same distribution centre as a trainee manager.

Life and Death in the Warehouse, written by new screenwriter Helen Black, stars Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Megan who in a desperate attempt to keep her new job, presses pregnant Alys, played by Poppy Lee Friar, to get her ‘pick rate’ up, putting Alys and her baby at risk.

It promises to be an authentic exploration of working conditions in distribution centres, a world shrouded in secrecy where warehouse workers are subjected to a gruelling work regime and obsessive monitoring.

Starring alongside Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Poppy Lee Friar are Craig Parkinson as Senior Manager Danny, Kimberley Nixon as manager Donna, Aled ap Steffan as warehouse worker Devon and Sion Daniel Young as manager Sean.

Read my interview with Craig Parkinson here.


5. The Witchfinder

Tuesday 8th March at 10pm on BBC Two

New BBC Two comedy The Witchfinder stars Tim Key as a failing witchfinder and Daisy May Cooper as a suspected witch who he transports across 1640s East Anglia to a trial that could change his fortunes forever.

But his captive is the worst possible travel companion: an inquisitive, uncouth woman whose ability to prick his pomposity and ask uncomfortable questions turns a straightforward journey into a life-changing ordeal.

Also stars Jessica Hynes, Daniel Rigby, Tuwaine Barrett, Reece Shearsmith, Julian Barratt, Ricky Tomlinson, Rosie Cavaliero, Cariad Lloyd, Ellie White, Vincent Franklin, Joplin Sibtain, Allan 'Seapa' Mustafa, Seb Cardinal and Dan Skinner.

1/6 Continues weekly. All episodes available at launch

6. Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over

Tuesday 8th March at 10pm on W

Ahead of a new series in April, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over returns for an International Women's Day special where Stacey spends the weekend with inspirational body positive advocate, Harnaam Kaur.

Harnaam, who was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) when she was 12 years old, made the brave decision to allow her facial hair to flourish and has quickly become an influential figure across the globe.

During Stacey's stay, she learns about the struggles Harnaam faced after her diagnosis and the impact this had while at school and she reveals the daily taunts she receives because of her facial hair.

The weekend also offers Stacey the chance to join Harnaam as she visits a PCOS support group and hears first-hand from women who share how they live with PCOS. Plus, Stacey joins Harnaam as she takes part in a photo shoot for the launch of her new make-up brand, which she hopes will break new ground.


7. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Friday 11th March on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ have already launched a number of new dramas this year and with one launching almost every week for the next couple of months, they're showing no signs of slowing down. Their latest, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, is based on Walter Mosley's 2010 novel. Adapted by Mosley himself, it stars Samuel L. Jackson in a rare television role.

He stars as 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey, an ailing man forgotten by his family, by his friends, and by even himself. Suddenly left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn.

When they learn about a treatment that can temporarily restore Ptolemy’s dementia-addled memories, it begins a journey toward shocking truths about the past, present and future.

1-2/6 Continues weekly


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