WHAT TO WATCH 8-14 August

It's another quiet week for telly, but I have found some great TV shows for you to enjoy including a new series of short dramas on ITV inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and a new laugh-out-loud comedy from Diane Morgan.


Here are 5 shows you can’t miss this week...


1. The Voice Kids UK

Saturday 8th August at 7.25pm on ITV


The Voice Kids UK has been the saviour of Saturday night telly this year as the latest series has been able to air as planned (albeit for the live final which will air at some point this autumn) and this week after four weeks of blind auditions we move on to the Battles.


For the first time this series, Will.i.am, Pixie Lott, Danny Jones and new coach Paloma Faith will be going into battle to secure the 12 places in the semi-final - meaning just three acts from each team will be able to go through to the next round.


Will your favourite make it through? You'll have to tune in to find out!


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2. EastEnders: Secrets from the Square

Monday 10th August at 8pm on BBC One


It's been two months since EastEnders was last on air and with new episodes still weeks away, it's time for Lorraine Stanley, Zack Morris and Maisie Smith aka Karen, Keegan and Tiffany, to sit down with Stacey Dooley for a good ol' chat as they relive their biggest storylines, share their best backstage gossip and reveal some of EastEnders’ best kept secrets.


Maisie, who first started playing Bianca and Ricky’s daughter at the age of six, describes what it was like growing up on Albert Square and explains how she still draws inspiration from her younger ‘self’ on the show. Whilst Zack recalls how his part as teenage tearaway Keegan expanded from guest role to the introduction of an entire new family in the Taylors. There’s also an exclusive tease of what’s next for Tiff and Keegan as Maisie and Zack reveal how the pair are coming out of Lockdown.


Lorraine, meanwhile, re-visits her two previous roles in Walford prior to Karen; as a Young Big Mo in EastEnders’ one-off prequel special Pat and Mo and as brassy rival landlady Thelma Bragg more recently and explains how, as a fan of the show, she still has to pinch herself on set. Stacey also finds time to put in a shift at the nation’s favourite Launderette, where Lorraine lets her in on the secret inner workings of the machines and reveals what it was like to work with the legendary June Brown aka Dot Branning.


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3. Unsaid Stories

Monday 10th - Thursday 13th August at 9pm on ITV


Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Unsaid Stories - which airs over four consecutive nights - is a new series on ITV made up of four standalone 15-minute dramas illustrating the importance of black perspectives.


With a cast that includes Nicholas Pinnock, Yasmin Monet Prince, Joe Cole, Adelayo Adedayo, Paapa Essiedu, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Nicôle Lecky, and Amanda Abbington, these powerful, impactful, impassioned and relatable films are not to be missed.


Monday's film, Generational, written by Jerome Bucchan-Nelson explores the relationship a black father and daughter have with each other and stars Nicholas Pinnock as a father who catches his 16-year-old daughter, played by Yasmin Monet Prince, sneaking out of the house to attend a Black Lives Matter march.


Fearing for his daughter's safety and concerned she's putting herself at risk, we witness an enlightening but bitter sweet conversation for both father and daughter, as their views differ on what it means to fight for social justice. But as the conversation progresses and elements from the fathers past come to the fore their positions evolve and change and they find some common ground.


Tuesday's film, I Don't Want to Talk About This, written by Anna Ssemuyaba stars Adelayo Adedayo as Thea, a black middle class woman who is doing well for herself who one night at a party, bumps into her former boyfriend Tom, played by Joe Cole.


Despite the clock ticking on her taxi, Thea, begins to talk to her former lover and best friend like never before and they end up reassessing their relationship and the challenges they faced being a middle-class black woman and a working-class white bloke and the insidious and undeniable impact of racism on their love and friendship.  


Wednesday's penultimate film (pictured above), Look at Me, written by Lynette Linton focusses on the lives of young professional couple Kay and Michael, played by Pippa Bennett-Warner and Paapa Essiedu, and the aftermath of them being stopped by the police while out driving on a date.


We witness the fallout of this event as we see the change in them from before the incident and the impact it has on them individually and as a couple. 


And finally, Thursday's film, Lavender, written by Nicôle Lecky, centres around an uncomfortable conversation had between a white mother, played by Amanda Abbington, and her mixed race daughter, played by the writer Nicôle Lecky, who has recently had a baby with a black man.


When her mother cannot understand her experience of the world and how that impacts her new-born daughter, an immovable wedge appears between them. Can it be overcome?


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4. The Life and Times of Captain Sir Tom

Thursday 13th August at 9.15pm on ITV


Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of the heroes to emerge during lockdown, after raising over £30 million for the NHS ahead of his 100th birthday - a milestone he reached on the 30th April. And now he's the subject of a new one-off documentary on ITV.


With unprecedented access to Captain Sir Tom and his family, Tom will - for the first time - be telling his life story from his beginnings in Yorkshire to raising more than £30 million for the NHS. He speaks about his young life and the impact his grandfather, father and his uncle had while he was growing up near Keighley.


He also speaks about his business career after the war, the blossoming of his relationship with his wife Pamela and social developments in Britain during his century on earth.


And with the approaching 75th anniversary of VJ Day on 15 August, the programme tells how Captain Sir Tom headed off to the frontline of the Second World War in India and then in the Burma campaign.


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5. Mandy

Thursday 13th August at 9.30pm and 9.45pm on BBC Two


Best-known for playing Philomena Cunk, Diane Morgan is back on BBC Two this week following a successful pilot, with a brand new comedy and a brand new character. In Mandy, she plays a woman with big dreams, but before she can achieve her dreams she has to overcome a number of hurdles.


Throughout the series, Mandy Carter goes on a health kick, rents out her small back bedroom on Airbnb and in the first episode, Mandy needs a job. But the options at the job centre are not very enticing. Could a banana-packing factory be the answer?


The series also stars Michelle Greenidge as Mandy’s friend and confidante in the local nail bar, Lola, and Tom Basden, David Bradley, Natalie Cassidy, Sean Lock, Iain Lee, Tony Way and Maxine Peake.will guest star throughout the series. They’ll join regular cast members Alistair Green, Mark Silcox and Michael Spicer.


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