Coronation Street (Friday 7.30/8.30pm, ITV1)
Dramatic stuff from Weatherfield tonight as Jamie and Violet plan to elope and deprive Sean the chance to be a father to his baby. I’m not sure I like this – Violet’s plan seems to run contrary to how the character has previously been written, and does a disservice to actress Jenny Platt who has played Violet with a great deal of likeable charm for the last few years. Question is: will they get away with it?
Walliams and Lucas: New Heroes of Comedy (Friday 9pm, C4)
Most of us know the Little Britain story and the rise of Matt Lucas and David Walliams to stardom, but sometimes it’s good to return to a well-thumbed volume. This hour-long retrospective doesn’t offer anything startlingly new (or admit that the third series was a bit pony), but the mix of talking heads interviews with their peers, and contributions from the lads themselves, leads to a fairly harmless bit of fluff.
Rob Brydon’s Identity Crisis (Friday 9pm, BBC4)
Ahead of tomorrow night’s marathon showing for the first series of Gavin and Stacey, Rob Brydon embarks on a quest to discover why he takes a generally negative stance towards his fellow Welshman. This is interesting stuff as the comic actor modifies elements of his stand-up act to cast a more positive light on Wales. Featuring interviews with various personalities of Welsh origin, including Max Boyce, one can’t help but warm to Brydon even more throughout this charming piece.
Hollyoaks Special (Saturday 4pm, E4)
As Summer Strallen takes over the role of Maria in The Sound of Music, this programme looks at the audacious publicity stunt pulled by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the producers of Hollyoaks. Strallen has been playing a character in Hollyoaks who attends an audition for The Sound of Music, featuring ALW himself. It’s a fascinating merging of mediums and a blurring of the fourth wall that appears to have paid dividends.
Love Soup (Saturday 9pm, BBC1)
Hang out the bunting, shout it from the rooftops, have a party! Love Soup is back, bringing the divine Tamsin Greig as lovelorn Alice back to our screens. It’s been three years since the first series of this lovely David Renwick comedy, and there’s been something of a format change. Each episode is now 30 minutes, Michael Landes is out, and things now focus on Alice and her colleagues on the make-up counter of a London department store. A second series couldn’t have carried the format forward as it was, so changing tack is a good idea – the trials of Alice and colleagues Milly (Montserrat Lombard) and Cleo (the fab Sheridan Smith) were the most satisfying elements first time round. 12 weeks of fun and frolics in the company of three beautiful ladies – what could be better?
Gavin and Stacey (Saturday 9.30pm, BBC2)
As soon as Love Soup finishes, get yourself straight over to BBC2 for a rerun of the complete first series of Gavin and Stacey. If you haven’t succumbed to the charms of this utterly loveable comedy, then this is your chance. We’ve written about the virtues of the best show to originate on BBC3 many times before, so we’ll say no more. Just enjoy, and then look forward to the imminent second series.
The Cult of Sunday Night (Sunday 8pm, BBC4)
There’s something very comforting about these nostalgic retrospectives of the nations’s favourite Sunday night dramas of yore, and essential viewing for any TV Today reader. This week it’s the seafaring drama of The Onedin Line that gets a dusting down. Prior to this at 7pm on BBC4, you can catch an episode of the classic series, starring Peter Gilmore.
Lewis (Sunday 9pm, ITV1)
In tonight’s exciting investigation for Lewis and Hathaway, the dour detectives look into the death of an Oxford university lecturer. Um… isn’t that like saying the crew of Moonbase Alpha encounters an anomaly in space every week?
Mad Men (Sunday 10pm, BBC4)
Oooh, this looks good. A stylish, edgy drama from Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos) set around the lives of advertising executives in New York in the 60s. Don Draper is a high rolling yet harassed exec just trying to stay at the top of his game in a dog-eat-dog world (and other mixed metaphors). It looks great and the dialogue is fired like bullets with typical style, as you’d expect from a Sopranos graduate. One to watch.