Have I Got News For You (Friday 9pm, BBC1)
In the week that David Tennant announces he is to leave Doctor Who, another legendary Time Lord takes the presenter’s chair in Have I Got News For You. Tom Baker is the man of the night, so expect lots of erudite banter from the Little Britain narrator (and some gags about Dalek bumps - or is that too smutty for the BBC now?)
The American Future: A History, by Simon Schama (Friday 9pm, BBC2)
On the eve of one of the US’s most crucial Presidential elections, Simon Schama brings his excellent series to a close as he looks at the role that immigration has played in the building of the country. There is some quite shocking stuff in here, but it’s always considered and expertly delivered by Schama.
Wire in the Blood (Friday 9pm, ITV1)
The concluding part of this Wire in the Blood investigation sees Tony Hill desperately trying to make a connection between the two serial killers stalking Bradfield. It’s as grim and gruesome as ever, and you wonder just how long the series can keep this format going, but the show is undeniably entertaining. Do they have to use so much blood though? It can be very off-putting when the Friday pizza arrives.
Speed (Friday 10.40pm, BBC1)
Harry Hill’s TV Burp (Saturday 7pm, ITV1)
After the week the broadcasting industry has had, we all need a laugh, so thank the Lord for Harry Hill and his cheeky brand of humour. He’ll steer clear of Ross and Brand for sure, but the usual suspects, from Bear Grylls to EastEnders, will be in the firing line. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Harry gives his verdict on the final of The Restaurant.
Merlin (Saturday 7.30pm, BBC1)
Another week, another timeslot. Really, Auntie, stop this, it’s getting silly. Tonight’s adventure with everyday Arthurian folk is the usual run of the mill stuff with evil magical types pitching up at Camelot, pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, and then Merlin has to save the day again. Nice effects, some engaging performances, but low on incident. Most of Merlin’s stories could be told in 20 minutes, and I’m desperate for some more meat on the bones. More doing, less talking please.
Dead Set (Saturday 10pm, E4)
If you’ve missed it, settle down for this omnibus of all five episodes of Charlie Brooker’s excellent zombie horror yarn set in the Big Brother House. Scarily brilliant.
Top Gear (Sunday 8pm, BBC2)
They’re back! Clarkson, Hammond, May and the Stig return with one of the BBC’s most-prized formats. Top Gear has been something of an unlikely success story over the last few years, but it continues to be entertaining and as watchable as ever. I have some reservations about the show’s cavalier attitude to the environment, but this blokey, almost laddish cocktail hits the spot with a wide range of viewers. Sometimes you can’t argue with that.
Sharpe’s Peril (Sunday 9pm, ITV1)
There’s something quite comforting about the adventures of Richard Sharpe, and so we bid the hero of Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling novels a welcome return as Sean Bean once again raises his rifle. Our Richard is looking forward to returning home and having a break from derring do, but he has one last task to take care of in India - escorting an upper class French lady to a nearby hill station. Of course, it just can’t be that easy, can it? As ever, Daragh O’Malley is on hand as Sharpe’s bezzie mate Patrick Harper.
Consuming Passion: 100 Years of Mills and Boon (Sunday 9pm, BBC4)
Who could resist this frothy, inter-linked drama to celebrate that most industrious of publishing houses, Mills and Boon? The lovely Jodie Whittaker, Peep Show legend Olivia Colman and Silent Witness’s Emilia Fox play three women separated across a century, all with lives, loves and aspirations. It’s a fascinating, three-pronged examination of romance across the last 100 years and the place Mills and Boon still holds in the heart of the nation.