It’s Now or Never
ITV1, Saturday 5:30pm
When this edition of the song-and-dance extravaganza show was hastily rescheduled earlier this year, most tabloids decried it as a ‘series being cancelled’. That was a convenient tag for papers that were describing ITV as being in meltdown at the time — but the truth is that most of the people who saw the first edition of this show loved it. Well, now it’s time for the word of mouth to pay off, as this second show — in which an unsuspecting member of the public is presented with a big song-and-dance number to help announce a bit of life-changing information — promises to be even better than the first.
BBC1, Saturday 6:50pm
You know, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going to miss Robin Hood. Tonight’s episode, the last in the series, sees Robin tormented with grief after Marian’s death last week — so much so that he even loses the somewhat namby-pamby image he’s been saddled with all series. But there are twists aplenty all through the episode, keeping you on the edge of your seat. What a shame that this interpretation of the Sherwood legend hasn’t been this exciting and dramatic all the way through the run.
Harry Hill’s Christmas TV Burp
ITV1, Saturday 7:30pm
As with all comedy shows, TV Burp can be a hit-and-miss affair — but when it hits its targets, there is rarely anything funnier. Quite deserving of his recent Comedy Awards wins, a bit of healthy deconstruction of the Christmas TV schedules will be welcome. Expect the various Yuletide soap deaths to feature prominently.
BBC1, Saturday 8.25pm & New Year’s Eve 8pm
After last week’s jaw-droppingly good episodes, how could we not compel you to watch another double set of episodes this weekend? As with last week, both episodes are written by the superb Barbara Machin. I haven’t seen these yet — after the thrill of last week, I’d hate my enjoyment to be spoiled — but expect them to be far higher quality than most regular episodes of the long-running soap. Unfortunately, I shall have to record Saturday’s, because…
Viewer of the Year
ITV1, Saturday 9pm
ITV are looking back at the past 12 months in the way that only ITV can — with a game show. Viewer of the Year sees fifty members of the public answering up to 50 multiple choice questions on 2006 television. At various points throughout the two-hour long show, the lowest scoring contestants will be eliminated, until one person remains — and they’ll win £50,000 and a home cinema system.
And, erm, I’m one of the fifty. Wish me luck.
Fear of Fanny
BBC2, New Year’s Eve, 9pm
We featured this heavily on the blog when it was first shown on BBC4, but no apologies for highlighting it again on its terrestrial debut. Julia Davis and Mark Gatiss are superb in this comic dramatisation of the life of Fanny Cradock, one of the first stars of TV cookery. It’s a touching portrait of a fearsome woman and her loyal partner.
New Years Celebrations
Don’t see the new year in with television, there’s a love. Even addicts such as us at TV Today Towers take one night off a year!
There’ll be a special New Year’s Day Square Eyes along later…