This week's top TV: 18 - 24 January

This week's top TV: 18 - 24 January

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Monday, 18th January 2016
James Nesbitt in Stan Lee's Lucky Man
James Nesbitt in Stan Lee's Lucky Man


Nature’s Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution 

BBC Four 


Professor Richard Fortey takes a closer look at the life cycle of islands to find out why they are natural laboratories of evolution.

In this episode he travels to Hawaii, one of the most remote island groups in the world. This remoteness has led experts to believe that only one new species successfully colonised Hawaii every 35,000 years.

As he travels around the islands, he uncovers more evolutionary secrets, encountering acid-resistant shrimps and carnivorous caterpillars.



The Jihadis Next Door 

Channel 4 


Islamic extremist Abu Rumaysah was filmed in London in 2014

In 2014, Jamie Roberts set out to film Islamic extremists living in the UK. One of the men he met was Abu Rumaysah, now one of the world’s most-wanted men, suspected of being the British jihadi from the latest Isis execution video.

Roberts’ timely documentary takes an intimate look at the religious fundamentalists living in Britain today.



The Comic Strip Presents… Red Top 



Maxine Peake stars as redheaded Rebekah, an innocent Northern girl who accidentally becomes Chief Executive of News International in this anarchic take on the phone hacking scandal. Set in a colourful Boogie Nights-style parallel universe with disco soundtrack, Peake is joined by Stephen Mangan as Tony Blair, Nigel Planer as Rupert Murdoch and Russell Tovey as Andy Coulson.

Other famous faces popping up to lampoon the relationship between politics, the press and mobile phones include Harry Enfield, Alexei Sayle and Johnny Vegas.



The Story of China 

BBC Two 


300 members of the Qin family gather for Tomb Sweeping Day in Wuxi

Historian Michael Wood heads to China to explore the history of the world’s oldest continuous state.

Home to over a billion people, China is now a growing superpower and Wood believes the best way to understand its growing influence is through its history.

In the first episode of this six-part series, Wood joins a family reunion as 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors of Tomb Sweeping Day,

Later he joins pilgrims at the shrine of the ancient Goddess Nüwa who, according to legend, made the first people from the mud of the Yellow River.



Stan Lee’s Lucky Man 

Sky 1 



James Nesbitt follows up his compelling role in last year’s The Missing with this bold new drama co-created by comic book legend Stan Lee.

Nesbitt stars as brilliant but troubled London detective Harry Clayton. Clayton is a compulsive gambler who is at risk of losing his family when he is given a mysterious bracelet said to bring the wearer immense luck.

At first the new bling seems to bring Clayton some much-needed luck, but he begins to wonder at the bracelet’s charm when he is sucked into a sinister crime wave sweeping through the capital.




Take Me Out 



Paddy McGuinness continues his mission to help 30 single ladies find love.

Anyone hoping to match with musician Al from Middlesex will have to compete with his love for American cars, while fireman David is hoping the lights stay lit for him. Plumber Sam and caravan salesman James are also looking to sweep Paddy’s pals off their feet.



Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur 

BBC One 


Two years ago a shepherd spotted a large fossil bone sticking out of a rock in the Argentinian desert. What he discovered turned out to be the largest known dinosaur, a new special of titanosaur.

David Attenborough followed the progress of this discovery as palaeontologists from the Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum went on to discover more than 220 bones belonging to seven dinosaurs.

Attenborough, who visited the site and the labs, is joined by Dr Diego Pol, lead scientist on the excavation and evolutionary biologist and bones expert Ben Garrod. The programme uses 3D scanning, CGI visuals and animation to help us understand what these creatures might have looked like, and concludes with Attenborough witnessing the unveiling of a 37 metre-long model which represents the new discovery.

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