Emmerdale (Friday 7pm, ITV1)
The 5000th episode goes off with a bit of a whimper tonight as not a great deal happens. The powder it seems is being kept dry for next week’s double-episode wedding of Eric Pollard to the always-brilliant Val Lambert.
Have I Got News For You (Friday 9pm, BBC1)
The guest host element of HIGNFY has generally worked very well, but it’s always a relief to get somebody who is just very good at it and could probably make a pretty good fist of the job on a full time basis. And of all those who could do the gig, I can never think of anybody better than Alexander Armstrong. Confident, funny and genial, he’s just brilliant and his appearance tonight is very welcome.
Peep Show (Friday 10.30pm, C4)
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Jez and Super Hans finally get a manager for their band and get booked to play a Christian rock festival - and Mark comes along as their roadie. Any write up of Peep Show by its nature will always undersell the experience of watching it. Words just cannot convey the understated brilliance of this comedy, so I won’t bother - just watch it!
I’d Do Anything - The Final (Saturday 6pm/7pm, BBC1)
The most fun BBC talent search comes to an end tonight as the final three Nancies face off against each other to take on a new production of Oliver! in the West End. I think it’s too close to call, but I’m setting my cap at Jodie to go the distance. Certainly if the crowd’s reaction to her at the Liza Minnelli concert a few nights ago is anything to go by, she certainly appears to be the public’s favourite. As always, Scott will be on hand with the post match analysis later in the weekend.
Britain’s Got Talent - The Final (6.50pm/9.30pm, ITV1)
I really could not care less, but it seems that 10 million members of the British public could. I’m not blind to the attractions of the format - the talent show is a long-standing tradition of the entertainment world - but there are limits to how much I can take. And Piers Morgan is at the lower end of those limits. Sorry… Jodie to win!
Doctor Who (Saturday 7pm, BBC1)
After a week’s break, Doctor Who returns with a typically spooky two-part tale from the pen of show runner in waiting Steven Moffat. The Doctor and Donna land in the largest library in the universe, containing every book ever published. But where is everybody, and what evil is lurking in the shadows? Joined by an archaeological team led by the flirty Professor River Song (who seems to know the Doc a little better than she should), there’s soon lots of running away from scary skeletons stalking the library stacks. Silence in the Library looks utterly beautiful throughout and is very, very scary. You have been warned.
Florence Nightingale (Sunday 7pm, BBC1)
Laura Fraser takes on the mantle of the Lady of the Lamp who was a heroine to many injured soldiers in the Crimea. It’s okay in a plodding kind of way, but an hour seems too sleight to tell the story of Nightingale’s return from the war and how angry she was at the British military and the rank conditions of its hospitals. It’s engaging nonetheless, with good support from Roy Hudd, amongst others.
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Sunday 8pm, BBC1)
A final final end for the toffy nosed ‘tec as this brief two-part series comes to an end, and with it the prospect of no more Lynley. Oh well, the wider TV audience will barely bat an eyelid, but I shall be sad. Lynley and Havers investigate the disappearance of a second girl following the discovery of a body in a lake. Will the missing girl be found in time? I hope so, considering this is the last episode. Look out for a guest turn from Foyle’s War’s Honeysuckle Weeks.
How TV Changed Britain (Sunday 8pm, C4)
The beginning of a six-part documentary series that should be of interest to all TV Today readers. In tonight’s opener, the depiction of the police is put under the microscope, with usual suspects Dixon of Dock Green, Z Cars and Life on Mars all in the line-up. Will it prove probing and conclusive in its findings? That remains to be seen, but it’s alsways fun seeing Jack Reagan telling a villain to put his trousers on cos he’s nicked.