Coronation Street (Friday 7.30pm, ITV1)
God loves a tryer, and there are none who try harder than Coronation Street veteran Jim McDonald. Just when you think he’s out (or back in prison again), they pull him back in (or release him from prison). Jim is out again tonight, this time legitimately, and it seems he’s turned over a new leaf, telling son Steve that his hell raising days are over. Sounds a bit dodgy to me, and with ex-missus Liz all set to tie the knot with Vernon, it can only mean that there will be trouble ahead.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! – the Final (Friday 9pm, ITV1)
We usually stay clear of reality TV around these parts, but I can’t deny that this year’s I’m a Celebrity has been thoroughly enjoyable. The mix of personalities in the camp has been key, and highlights just how precarious the celeb based reality genre can be. It’s all left to chance, but thankfully, I’m a Celebrity got it just right this time out. I could talk about Janice Dickinson and Lynne Franks all day, but the real stand out is Biggins, who has shown what a genuinely marvellous human being he is. Good humoured and caring, I hope he’ll come out triumphant tonight – and maybe somebody will cast him in something that reminds us just how good an actor he is.
Robin Hood (Saturday 7.15pm, BBC1)
I probably shouldn’t do this, as I don’t want to upset anybody, but yet again, Jonas Armstrong is acted off the screen by tonight’s guest star, Gavin and Stacey’s Matthew Horne. He makes a very convincing court fool, but he is a natural comedian, so that’s to be expected. I still think Michael Praed and Sean Connery might have something to say about Armstrong’s supposed claim to being the best screen Robin Hood. But take heart, he’s certainly not the worst – Jason Connery and Kevin Costner quite happily take care of that. I will stop this, I promise, because the show itself is getting better all the time, so he must doing something right. I’m just not sure what.
The Company (Saturday 9.40pm)
This espionage mini-series started off well, and now the action moves forward to the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961. It all takes itself very seriously in that fabulous Spooks kind of way, and looks absolutely fantastic. Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina are on fine form in the thesping stakes, with only Chris O’Donnell providing the weak link. Concludes next Saturday.
Saturday Live Again! (Saturday 9.40pm, ITV1)
Channel 4’s Friday and Saturday Live shows were a seminal part of the 80s boom in so-called alternative comedy and was responsible for launching the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Harry Enfield and Jo Brand onto the scene. It was essential viewing, and ITV has revived the format for this one-off extravaganza hosted by Marcus Brigstocke. There’ll be turns from Lee Mack, Mitchell and Webb and Jimmy Carr, as well as an appearance from original host Ben Elton. Perhaps there will be a little bit of politics…
Cranford (Sunday 9pm, BBC1)
After last week’s unbearably sad ending, things carry on apace in the sleepy village of Cranford with the usual mix of wit, manners and lots of lace. Miss Matty, getting over the loss of her sister, is suddenly confronted with an old flame (Michael Gambon) and realises there might be more to life yet, while Mr Carter (a note perfect Philip Glenister) clashes with his icy mistress. Glorious and as perfectly perfect as a drama should be.
Who Gets the Dog? (Sunday 9pm, ITV1)
Just when you think ITV are starting to get it together, they throw this out in the pre-Christmas schedules – a one off comedy drama starring Kevin Whately and Alison Steadman. They play a couple going through a divorce, the settlement of which seems to revolve around who gets custody of the family dog, Bounder. Thud! Hysterically average.