Coronation Street (Monday 7.30/8.30pm, ITV1)
A big Corrie storyline reaches something of a climax tonight as Paul Connor finally goes nuts and decides to stuff Leanne in the boot of his car and go for a little drive. This one has been brewing for a while, and it’s a fantastic pay-off ,ending in a stunning car crash that leaves Paul fighting for his life. Leanne’s also left fighting for her boyfriend, as Liam knows the truth about her real job. Note to EastEnders: this is how to do a car crash.
Prison Break (Monday 10pm, Five)
Um, with this having being commissioned for a third season, I’m a little confused as to how it can still go under the title Prison Break. Shouldn’t it now be Prison Broke? Entertaining, but the premise is stretching ever thinner.
Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive (Monday 10.30pm, BBC3)
Annually Retentive bows out of its second series with the usual high quality, but with a format change that sees Rob going back to his roots in Wales, riffing on mercilessly on Who Do You Think You Are? One of the most intriguing comedies to come out of BBC3, and one that easily deserves a third commission.
A History of Modern Britain (Tuesday 9pm, BBC2)
Andrew’s Marr’s excellent series reaches the late 1960s, moving into the 1970s, and finds a country in a dark mood on the turn of the decade. There was a very bleak outlook, with terrible economic decline, Vietnam, the worsening situation in Northern Ireland, and, on the whole, a general malaise getting into the very fibre of Britain. A brilliant series.
Trinny and Susannah Undress (Tuesday 8pm, ITV1)
There’s very much a sense that, since moving to ITV from the Beeb, Trinny and Susannah aren’t as good as they used to be. Mmm, not sure about that, as I thought they were pretty iffy in the first place. I find it questionable that anybody in the TV industry thinks it acceptable to place people who have deeper problems than getting a new frock will solve on television for all to see, and then hammer home some therapeutic ritual humiliation. And can anybody please explain how this pair go from choosing new outfits for people on the Beeb to being marriage guidance counsellors on t’other side? I mean, really…
Holby Blue (Tuesday 8pm, BBC1)
I keep checking in to see if this has got better. It hasn’t.
Challenge Anneka (Wednesday 9pm, ITV1)
Somebody, somewhere at ITV is clearly having a laugh.
The Apprentice (Wednesday 9pm, BBC1)
We’re in the final furlong of a fantastically entertaining third series of The Apprentice, and now business acumen is out of the window because now it’s totally down to personality and succeeding on your own merit. In the interview round, the candidates are grilled by three of Sir Alan’s top execs, and they have proven to be brutal in previous years. I fear for Tre’s chances in this round as his arrogance might just rub the interviewers up the wrong way, and I pray that Katie is unmasked as the smug charlatan we know her to be. Simon is a little boy lost at this stage, and my hopes for an interesting final lie with Christina and Lohit. Bring it on!
Will & Grace (Wednesday 11.05pm, C4)
Oh well done Channel 4. What a blinding piece of scheduling, placing the final season of Will & Grace on at 11.05pm. Thank you Big Brother for once again leaving absolutely no room in the schedules to put some decent TV on. Irritation at this aside, enjoy this final time together with Jack and Karen (oh, and I seem to recall there were characters called Will and Grace too). This first episode is notable for having being broadcast live, which seems a perfect fit for the sometime theatrical nature of the gags and the performances. I just hope I’m still awake…
Hustle (Thursday 9pm, BBC1)
A solid final episode of this fourth series of cons and beautiful people that suffers from possibly being a little too tricksy for its own good. This series has benefited from some episodes being set in the States (almost a sleight of hand to hide the departure of Adrian Lester), and the Vegas backdrop works well here. The Mafia pay a visit to Albert, so the gang decide to go hell for leather and pay them a visit back. Fingers crossed for a new series.
You Can Choose Your Friends (Thursday 9pm, ITV1)
You know I’m a sucker for heart-warming, undemanding fare, and this one-off comedy drama fits the bill nicely. A nice, middle-class family all come together to celebrate the 45th wedding anniversary of their mum and dad. You don’t need to know the rest, I’m sure you can guess what transpires. This is worth it, if nothing else, for the reunion of Julia McKenzie and Anton Rodgers as mum and dad – TV legends, together again. Any chance of a new series of Fresh Fields? Wait a minute, where did you all go..?