Top Dogs (Friday 9pm, BBC2)
Final part of this fascinating documentary series. Tonight’s top dog is Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who takes fellow travellers John Simpson and Robin Knox-Johnston on a trip to get a taste of his own stock in trade - polar exploration. There’s a jolly, well mannered nature to this trip over the Arctic ice, but as with the other instalments of what has been a brilliant series, the dangers inherent within what these guys do are all too apparent.
Robin Hood (Saturday 6.10pm, BBC1)
Former Corrie villain Bill Ward (aka Charlie Stubbs) guest stars in tonight’s slice of robbery from the rich as an evil tax collector. In many ways he’s filling in for Gisborne, who is still off with King John, trying to explain why Hood hasn’t been brought to justice yet. Allan and Kate are kidnapped by this nasty piece of work, and the race is on for Robin and the remaining outlaws to rescue them.
Primeval (Saturday 6.55pm, ITV1)
After last week’s cracking episode that saw Douglas Henshall say goodbye to Nick Cutter in an emotional end for the character, Jason Flemyng returns as the new regular lead, filling Cutter’s shoes as ex-copper Danny Quinn. He’s a different beast from the dour Cutter, but no less dynamic a leading man, and on the basis of this, it’s business as usual for Dinosaur Chasey-Chase.
Tonight’s The Night (Saturday 6.55pm, BBC1)
What’s that? Reclusive and notoriously private celebrity John Barrowman fronting a new, glitzy Saturday night variety show? Barrowman grants wishes to members of the public after being tutored by the man himself and some special guests, so they are ready to perform on the night with their favourite band or West End show cast. This could be hugely enjoyable if the format works, so fingers crossed. We need these kind of shows on a Saturday night.
Last of the Summer Wine (Sunday 6.05pm, BBC1)
Series 32 of Last of the Summer Wine. Yes, you heard right, series 32! It’s still going, and it might not be made for me, but I’m glad it’s still there.
Heartbeat (Sunday 8pm, ITV1)
With the series officially no longer in production (although not officially cancelled), enjoy Heartbeat while you can as it returns for a new series. There are episodes in the can that will take this venerable old warhorse well into next year, but after that, who knows?
The No1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Sunday 9pm, BBC1)
The final episode of the lazily enjoyable detective series based on the delightful books by Alexander McCall Smith. This week, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are victims of crime themselves when a robbery takes place. The ratings for this lovely little show have not been stellar, so the hopes for a second series aren’t high, even with the might of HBO involved. Still, fingers crossed eh?
Mike Leigh Night (Sunday from 9pm, BBC4)
With this collection of programming to celebrate the work of director of Mike Leigh, you really won’t need anything else tonight. The evening kicks off with the effortless Nuts in May, starring Roger Sloman and Alison Steadman as the sweet yet annoying couple who head of on a camping holiday and come up against some rowdy neighbours. Leigh himself goes on the record at 10.20pm in a new Mark Lawson Talks To…, and finally at 11.50pm you’ll find the documentary All About Abigail’s Party - which does what it says on the tin.
Family Guy (Sunday 10pm, BBC3)
New series of the better-than-the-Simpsons animated comedy.