A very quick Square Eyes to kick off 2009 from TV Today. We’ll hopefully have some thoughts on Christmas TV and upcoming highlights for 2009 in the coming week, but for now, a very Happy New Year from all of us here at TV Today Towers!
Morecambe and Wise: the Show What Paul Merton Did (Friday 9pm, BBC1)
Arguably the best-loved comedy duo of all time are given due reverence in this celebration hosted by fan Paul Merton. All the usual clips will be present and correct, but there’s also some early material thrown in, alongside fond recollections of the mighty pair’s comedy mastery from fans and colleagues. Morecambe and Wise: always a pleasure, never a chore.
Celebrity Big Brother Live Launch (Friday 9pm, C4)
Oh whatever, I really don’t have the energy for this.
Your Country Needs You (Saturday 7.10pm, BBC1)
Another year, another Andrew Lloyd Webber talent show. This year, our patriotic pride is high on the agenda as the musical maestro teams up with Graham Norton to select a new song for the Eurovision Song Contest. Personally I think this will ultimately be an exercise in futility (we ain’t never winning Eurovision again, folks), but if anyone has a slim chance of success, it’s Lloyd Webber. TV Today will be watching with great interest…
Demons (Saturday 7.20pm, ITV1)
The latest salvo in the quest to challenge Doctor Who’s dominance in the Saturday night family drama stakes (geddit?). Demons casts Philip Glenister (with dodgy American accent) as a demon hunter who seeks out his godson, Luke, the last of the great vampire-hunting Van Helsing line. Glenister’s accent aside, you know that when a character thumbnail reads “Mina Harker is a blind concert pianist with a history” you’re in fairly unsophisticated territory. Demons is likely to be enjoyable at a certain level, but will probably make us realise just how good Primeval really is.
Lark Rise to Candleford (Sunday 8pm, BBC1/BBC HD)
After the lovely Christmas special, Lark Rise to Candleford makes a very welcome return to Sunday evenings for a new series. Jason Merrells is the newcomer in town as James Dowland, returning to his former home to open Candleford’s first hotel - and from the off he’s turning heads (not least of all postmistress Dorcas Lane). Lark Rise is as comforting as a mug of hot chocolate and I can’t think of a better way of settling down on the sofa of a Sunday evening.
Above Suspicion (Sunday 9pm, ITV1)
Contrasting with the gentleness of Lark Rise to Candleford is this latest brutal crime offering from Lynda La Plante. Kelly Reilly (the next big thing, surely?) is the young Detective Constable assigned to a hunt for a serial killer, where she has to deal with grim superior DCI Langton (Ciaran Hinds) who looks and sounds like he’s just walked out of The Sweeney. It’s not pretty, but as always with La Plante, it’s very engrossing in typically bloody fashion.