BBC Proms 2011, Anyone for Demis?, Exotic Pop at the BBC, Nana Mouskouri at the BBC BBC4, from 7.30pm
Firday night is regularly music night on the BBC’s best, but least watched, TV channel. This evening kicks off with a showing of the Chmber Orchestra of Europe’s recent Prom celebrating the music of Brahms, before delving intho the archives to explore Britain’s relationship with pop music from other climes. Demis Roussos, the Singing Nun, Vanessa Paradis, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and, of course, Nana Mouskouri, all feature.
Epic Win BBC1, Saturday 5.30pm
Basically a You Bet! for the generation who’ve been blessed with never having seen the original. Eccentric members of the public perform silly feats in front of a panel of comedians, who bet on the outcome. If the contestant correctly guesses how much the panel bet, they get an “epic win”, otherwise it’s a “fail”. Presented by Alexander Armstrong as if it’s an extended skit from his sketch show, which it may well be.
The X Factor ITV1, Saturday 8pm
It’s back. Which means Christmas can only be many rubbish auditionees and a few mildly good singers away. This year’s X Factor is billed as “the next generation”, with a new judging panel of Kelly Rowland (who is not, as I originally said, “the boring one from Destiny’s Child who was rubbish in Strictly Come Dancing”, as has been pointed out in the comments), Tulisa Contostavlos (the girl from N-Dubz, who proved with her BBC3 documentary on mental illness that she’s an engaging, likeable television presence), Gary Barlow (who’d like you all to forget that he was in charge of the music for Britannia High) and Louis Walsh (who, like the rest of us, can’t quite believe he’s managed to stay on the panel).
Casualty BBC1, Saturday 8.55pm
Michael Obiora and Madeleine Mantock join the cast as a pair of new nurses at the Holby City ED, but all eyes will be on one of this episode’s guest stars - a teaching assistant who comes to the department after an altercation with a pupil. It’s a change of pace for Lee Mead, who’s more normally seen on the musical theatre stage (he’s currently playing Emmett in Legally Blonde the Musical at the Savoy Theatre).
The Man Who Crossed Hitler BBC2, Sunday 9pm
Based on a true story, Ed Stoppard plays a Jewish barrister who, in 1931, dared to subpoena Adolf Hitler as a witness in the trial of two Nazi thugs. Ian Hart plays Hitler in a piece which, though it feels like it would work better on stage, remains compelling television.
The Killing BBC4, Sunday 10pm
The US remake is not exactly setting the world alight, despite a blisteringly good performance from Michelle Forbes as the grieving mother. Here, though, is a chance to once again catch the original Danish series, which betters it in every way. The series follows Copenhagen detective Sarah Lund, who gets called in to a murder case on her last day before moving to Sweden. Can she find out what happened to teenager Nanna Birk Larsen in time to catch her flight and start her new life? Obviously the answer’s no, or it would be a short series - but it’s a compelling series whose twists and turns never lose their grip on the audience.