This week's top TV: 11 - 17 January

This week's top TV: 11 - 17 January

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Monday, 11th January 2016
Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough


Tracey Ullman’s Show



Ullman as delinquent Dame Judi Dench
(Credit: BBC / Rory Lindsay)

Comedian Tracey Ullman returns to the BBC for the first time in thirty years with a new sketch show.

Ullman, whose early work included Three of a Kind with Lenny Henry and David Copperfield, has spent much of that time working in the US.

In her new series, she introduces us to various eccentric characters, from an accident-prone massage therapist to a shop-lifting Dame Judi Dench.



Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge

Channel 4


(Credit: C4 / Steve Neaves)

In his ambitious new experiment, psychological illusionist Derren Brown seeks to investigate the powers of social compliance, looking at how peer-pressure, ideology or authority can make people do horrifying things.

The subject of Brown’s latest test is unsuspecting 29-year-old Chris Kingston. Over the course of an evening, Brown will use a range of methods to make Kingston reject responsibility for his own actions.

While early requests see Kingston asked to carry bags and fetch champagne, Brown’s ultimate test is to see if his subject will be able to push another person off a roof, seemingly to their death.



Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough



The reef surrounding Heron Island
(Credit: BBC/Atlantic Productions/Mark Tipple)


In the concluding part of David Attenborough series, the presenter looks at what the future holds for the coral reef.

He visits the stunning reef top at Heron Island, where he sees creatures that are challenged by the elements every day, including a shark that can survive out of water.

Attenborough also meets the scientists examining the health of this extraordinary natural wonder, and learns how human behaviour has had a dramatic impact in the health of the reef.



Britain’s Bloody Crown

Channel 5


(Credit: Channel 5)

Historian Dan Jones tells the story of the War of the Roses.

This week Jones tells the story of how Edward IV snatched the English crown away from Henry VI, in a plot masterminded by the Earl of Warwick, a baron known as the Kingmaker. When Edward fell out with Warwick, however, the baron was quick to oust the monarch from his throne and reinstate Henry.



First Dates

Channel 4 


Will Cupid strike lucky with Arunima and Simon?
(Credit: Channel 4 / Stephen Wells)

Channel 4’s hit dating show is back for a fifth series, with Maître d'  Fred playing Cupid as a fresh batch of singletons step into his restaurant looking for love.

This week’s love-seekers include lawyer Arunima and veterinary surgeon Simon. Arunima, who has been in a wheelchair since a childhood illness, is worried that her date won’t be able to see past her ability. However, it’s clear she has nothing to worry about when Simon struggles to grasp bingo lingo.



The Getaway Car



Host Dermot O'Leary is joined by The Stig
(Credit: BBC / Charlie Sperring)

The Stig returns to the BBC for a new prime-time car show with Dermot O’Leary. Top Gear this isn’t.

Each episodes sees five couples go head-to-head as their driving skills, general knowledge and relationships are tested over four rounds.

The couple who emerges victorious from those rounds will then go helmet-to-helmet with The Stig in a bid to take home the £10,000 prize.



Storyville - The Golden Age of Circus: The Show of Shows

BBC Four


(Credit: BBC / Sagafilm Crossover / National Fairground Archive / University of Sheffield)

Using rare and never-before seen footage of fairgrounds, freak shows and seaside entertainment, director Benedikt Erlingsson chronicles the Golden Age of circus performances during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The film shows how the talented performers would travel the world to entertain global audiences with their skill and outlandish acts.


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