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WHAT TO WATCH 7-13 January

This week’s best telly includes a one-off Channel 4 drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the return of Sheridan Smith in a new ITV drama and the start of the final series of Catastrophe.


Here are 7 shows you can’t miss this week...


1. Manhunt

Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th January at 9pm on ITV


Waiting a week for another episode of a drama seems so old-fashioned in 2019. Luther aired across four consecutive and whilst Manhunt only began on ITV last night (Sunday) the series continues on Monday and concludes on Tuesday.


In the second episode, Colin Sutton and his team are trying to identify the white van they have discovered from an extensive trawl of CCTV images. But there are 25,000 possible vans that need to be checked and eliminated.


And in Tuesday's final episode, Colin briefs the team in preparation for Bellfield’s arrest. After finding him hiding in the loft, they can only hold him for 72 hours. But with the clock ticking, will he be charged or released?



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2. Brexit: The Uncivil War

Monday 7th January on Channel 4


Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this one-off feature-length drama on Channel 4 about one of the most controversial referendums in modern British history... Brexit!


Brexit: The Uncivil War follows the Brexit campaign from the perspective of the largely unknown strategists in both the leave and remain camps as they plot to gain advantage over each other through media and social media activities, while having to deal with the more public role played by politicians jostling for the limelight and each side’s controversial financial backers.


Dominic Cummings (Benedict), the divisive architect of Vote Leave’s strategy and tactics. His insistence that the Leave campaign’s electioneering should be data-driven, rather than relying on traditional campaigning involving grass roots politicians quickly brings him into conflict with his political backers, but ultimately secures success. Meanwhile his messaging, from coming up with the central slogan “Take Back Control” as well as the red bus featuring the now infamous £350 million promise also cuts through with the voters.


The drama also stars Rory Kinnear as Craig Oliver, David Cameron's communications director, who is drafted in to run the Remain campaign and pull together its disparate Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters.



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3. Two Doors Down

Monday 7th January at 10pm on BBC Two


Two Doors Down returns to BBC Two this week for its fourth series, but this Scottish sitcom centred around a couple and their insufferable neighbours is still somewhat of a hidden gem.


In the first episode of the brand new series, Beth and Eric think their son Ian is taking them out for their 30th wedding anniversary dinner, but instead, he and his boyfriend Gordon have organised a surprise party at their house and all the gang is there. With the buffet table bursting with food including Christine's homemade trifle and the champagne flowing, what more could you ask from a party?


There is a wander down memory lane, a look at the Bairds’ wedding album and an illuminating quiz. Whilst Ian tries to keep the focus on the anniversary couple, a drunken Cathy tries to prompt wedding proposals from reluctant boyfriends Ian and Alan and treats Eric, Beth and the rest of the guests to a replay of her and Colin’s first wedding dance.


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4. Silent Witness

Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th January at 9pm on BBC One


It's incredible to think that Silent Witness is now in it 22nd series, an incredible achievement and luckily the quality has never dropped. As is customary with Silent Witness, the show will consist of five two-part stories aired across two consecutive nights.


In the first story, Two Spirits, fresh from her trip to the States, Nikki and the Lyell unit are called in to investigate an attack against a trans man. When two further attacks are reported, one leaving a potential witness, it becomes clear that the team is facing an outbreak of violence against the trans community.


With the Lyell under increasing financial scrutiny and frustration growing between the team and the acting DCI, can they pull it together to find the killer before they strike again?


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5. Catastrophe

Tuesday 8th January at 10pm on Channel 4


All good things must come to an end, and boy is Catastrophe a good thing. The Channel 4 sitcom written by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, returns this week for its fourth and final series.


Series 4 picks up after the rather dramatic end to series three in which Rob's secret relapse to alcoholism saw him crash his car and confess his relapse to Sharon. As Rob tries to head on the straight and narrow, Sharon does her best to support but will the couple navigate the relentless tsunami of life’s challenges, or see their relationship finally submerged by it all?


With Rob potentially not the only one on the wrong side of the law, health issues, new religious dalliances, a “briefcase of vegetables” and ever-infuriating family members to contend with, what could possibly go wrong?


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6. Cleaning Up

Wednesday 9th January at 9pm on ITV


Sheridan Smith returns to our screens this week in ITV's new series Cleaning Up, written by screenwriting newcomer Mark Marlow.


The six-part drama tells the story of office cleaner Sam, an ordinary working-class woman, who is one of an invisible army of cleaners on a zero-hours contract. Caught between two worlds, the everyday life of a devoted and loving mum and the darker, dangerous world of insider trading.

Struggling with an online gambling addiction, Sam realises she has access to lucrative inside information which, if used correctly, could be the answer to all her prayers. And with her husband threatening to take custody of their two daughters, Sam is being backed into a corner and needs to come out fighting. But just how far will she go to survive?


Read my interview with Sheridan Smith here.



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7. Les Misérables

Sunday 13th January at 9pm on BBC One


BBC One's impressive epic drama Les Misérables continues this week as a tormented Jean Valjean is forced by Javert and his own conscience to reveal his true identity.


But a promise to Fantine changes everything and things are looking up for the The'nardiers when a rich stranger arrives at their inn. But their joy is short lived.


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