Coronation Street (Monday 7.30/8.30pm, ITV1)
Good stuff from Weatherfield tonight as the Connor family get closer to the truth about Ryan’s stalker. This could be a storyline that has huge implications for Michelle and Ryan, not to mention Liam and Steve. The shadows of 2008 can be seen in tonight’s action and who knows where this one will go?
Monarchy (Monday 9pm, BBC1)
Ignore the controversy of this documentary that almost destroyed a corporation, Monarchy is actually a cracking piece of television. The cameras really do get you into areas of the Queen’s life that we’ve rarely witnessed in the past, and it makes for fascinating viewing. The Queen comes off as a stickler for standards, but you can’t help but like her. Tonight is interesting, with Her Majesty playing host to the Blairs as Tony approaches his final day as PM, and she also hangs out with Gordon Brown on the eve of his final budget as Chancellor.
Live at the Apollo (Monday 10.35pm, BBC1)
Say what you will about Joan Rivers, I like her. You might find her offensive and she might step close to the line many times throughout the course of a set, but there’s a ring of truth about everything she says. Yes, some groups might come in for a bit of stick, but Rivers is also incredibly self-deprecating about her character and her life. Her contribution to tonight’s Live at the Apollo is no exception, but if you don’t like her, stay away. Or wait for Patrick Kielty to come on instead.
Spooks (Tuesday 9pm, BBC1)
Eeeek! It’s the penultimate episode, and somebody is out to kill our brave team of spies. With the department practically closed down following Ros’s betrayal, Adam is getting all uppity about not working for the government any more, and Jo turns to journalist Ben for some help. And then the bullets start to fly. Don’t bother turning over for the final episode on BBC3, you won’t find it – it premieres next week on BBC1.
Dawn French’s More Boys Who Do: Comedy (Tuesday 9pm, BBC4)
My dad loves Ken Dodd. He’s seen him live many times and would do so again given the chance. The question is, does Doddy have any relevance to a modern audience and can Dawn French get to the bottom of this veteran comic’s appeal? Probably not as she isn’t the greatest interviewer in the world, but it’s the strength of her subject that always makes these little chats work.
Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS? One Year On (Wednesday 9pm, BBC2)
It’s 12 months since Sir Gerry Robinson brought his management guru savvy to Rotherham District General Hospital, and what a revealing piece of television that was. Scary even. Has the situation changed any in the year since Robinson was there? Has it got better? Are things even more woeful and desperate than they used to be, or are there new problems to frustrate anybody’s efforts to fix the NHS?
Russell Brand on the Road (Wednesday 9pm, BBC4)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the love him/hate him figure of Russell Brand heads off on a somewhat manic tribute to his literary hero. Will I want to beat Brand to a pulp yet admire his esoteric skills all at the same time while he travels in Kerouac’s footsteps? Most probably, but I’ll no doubt learn something on the way. He drives me to utter distraction, but somehow I like him immensely. Sigh.
Ocean’s Twelve (Wednesday 9pm, ITV1)
It’s the worst film ever made, so just don’t okay? Actually, do watch it, if only to marvel at how much money went into paying the egos that made this truly dire piece of work.
The Street (Thursday 9pm, BBC1)
This fantastic series comes to an end with the tale of a young parks worker who has fallen for a stranger on his way to work every morning. Toby Kebbell is clearly one to watch as based on his performance as Paul, he’s going to be a big star. Here’s hoping for another run of the best drama series of the year – it might not do huge ratings, but any channel should keep hold of Jimmy McGovern at any cost and let him do whatever he wants. If this is the result, it’s got to be worth it.
Lead Balloon (Thursday 9.30pm, BBC2)
A cracking episode of a comedy that’s sometimes very hard to like, with Rick Spleen forced into looking after his long-suffering wife who is bedridden with flu. Inevitably things spiral out of control very, very quickly, but Jack Dee has become the master of the pained look with a hint of desperation and it’s actually becoming a pleasure to watch his discomfort.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (Thursday 10pm, More 4)
If Studio 60 had been this good straight out of the traps, I’d say there’s a good chance it would have run to at least a second season and maybe beyond. It’s in these last few episodes that the balance between character motivated plots and the background fripperies of producing a weekly sketch show has been found. Jordan’s in surgery, Danny is engaged to her, Matt and Harriet are doing whatever it is they do, and Tom’s brother is being held hostage. It’s a whirlwind and thoroughly engrossing. With only one more episode left, I’m going to miss this gang more than I thought possible. Oh well, looks like I’ll starting The West Wing from the beginning (again) come 2008.