TV Picks: 12th October - 19th October

TV Picks: 12th October - 19th October

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By Imani Cottrell, Caitlin Danaher, Harry Bennett,
Monday, 12th October 2020
Hugh Laurie, Grand Army and Mo Gilligan (credit: BBC, Netflix, Channel 4)

This week in TV sees Jodie Whittaker unearth her family roots, a visit to Kate Humble's farm and the return of Taskmaster.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Monday 12th October

BBC One, 9pm

Jodie Whittaker (credit: BBC)

The genealogy documentary series returns, with Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) tracing her Yorkshire family tree in this opening episode.

Whittaker begins with a tale about her paternal grandmother Greta, who has the middle name ‘Verdun’, after her half-brother Walter who died during WWI at the Battle of Verdun.

On her mother’s side, Whittaker explores the rags to riches story of her great-great-grandfather, who started his working life as a child labourer in the mines and worked his way up to become owner of one.

Escape to the Farm with Kate Humble

Tuesday 13th October

Channel 5, 9pm

The latest of Channel 5’s timely escapes to the country, Kate Humble welcomes you to her 117-acre farm in Monmouthshire near the Black Mountains where she has been growing produce and breeding livestock for the past ten years.

Filmed over a month during lockdown, Humble takes us behind the scenes of her busy working farm while showcasing the natural splendour of South Wales.

In this first episode, the inconsiderately named Welsh sow, Sausage, is preparing to give birth to another litter of piglets. But it soon becomes clear that the delivery is life threatening for both Sausage and her unborns.


Thursday 15th October

Channel 4, 9pm

Now on Channel 4, Taskmaster Greg Davies and Taskthinker-upper Alex Horne are back to baffle another six comedians with their whimsically complex challenges and to mock their best efforts.

Vying for the Taskmaster championship crown this series are This Country’s Daisy May Cooper, Johnny Vegas, The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson, Mawaan Rizwan and Richard Herring.

In this first episode, God’s Haemorrhoid, the tasks set involve beer, phone boxes, eggs and things disappearing.

Mo Gilligan: Black, British and Funny

Thursday 15th October

Channel 4, 10pm

Mo Gilligan (credit: Channel 4)

Mo Gilligan is a big name in comedy, but as a black comedian the road to his widespread success has not been easy.

Gilligan is the first black comedian to host a prime time show in 20 years, but Gilligan recognises he didn’t do it alone and looks back at some of the iconic black comedians who helped pave the way.

This one-off documentary will provide a look into the black British comedy scene where Gilligan first made a name for himself, a circuit which has led to sold out theatres up and down the country but is often not spoken about.

Despite the success of this scene, Gilligan will question why so few comedians have crossed over and found mainstream success, plus meet the new up and coming acts hoping to make it big.

Grand Army

Friday 16th October


Being a teenager isn’t easy and drama Grand Army follows five teenagers from freshman to seniors, at the largest public high school in Brooklyn, facing the highs and lows of growing up and learning to find yourself.

The series is based on Katie Cappiello’s 2013 play, Slut: The Play, which explored slut shaming and rape culture, with the Netflix series also exploring racism, school shootings and the pressures of social media.

Characters include Junior Joey Del Marco (Odessa A’zion), a feminist determined to dismantle the patriarchy, while navigating a new life as a child of divorce.

Dominique “Dom” Pierre (Odley Jean), is a witty and driven junior who is trying to juggle following her own dreams and supporting her struggling Haitian American family.

Freshman Leila Kwan Zimmer (Amalia Yoo), is a Chinese American adopted by white parents and unsure where she belongs. Bullied by fellow Asian students for her inability to speak Chinese, Zimmer is looking to reinvent herself.


Sunday 18th October

BBC One, 9pm

Hugh Laurie leads this political thriller as cabinet minister Peter Laurence. Having just won a libel case against a newspaper, the minister is on the verge of promotion to high office.

In this series opener, Peter is summoned to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister, Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders). But when an inmate in a women’s prison claims to have a secret about Peter’s past, the minister’s career comes under threat.

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This week in TV sees Jodie Whittaker unearth her family roots, a visit to Kate Humble's farm and the return of Taskmaster.