This week's top TV: 9 - 15 May

This week's top TV: 9 - 15 May

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By Toby Hood,
Monday, 9th May 2016
David Mitchell brings the Bard to life in family comedy Upstart Crow (credit: BBC)


Upstart Crow



David Mitchell appears as Britain's foremost playwright, William Shakespeare, in this new comedy depicting the life of the Bard as he juggles family life with a career in the theatre.

In episode one, William is having troubles with his latest play Romeo and Juliet as England's leading 'female' actor is apparently too old to play the teenaged Juliet and his nemesis plots to close down the whole production.  

Scriptwriter Ben Elton returns to period writing for the first time since the '80s smash hit Blackadder, whilst veteran comedian Harry Enfield takes up the role of Shakespeare's father John and Liza Tarbuck appears as Anne Hathaway. 


Children on the Frontline: The Escape

Channel 4


Children on the Frontline: The Escape depicts the journey of one family from middle-class suburbia to life on
the road as refugees (credit: Channel 4)

In this sequel to 2014's multi-award winning documentary Children on the Frontline, director Marcel Mattelsiefen returns to the rubble-strewn city of Aleppo and the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. 

Abu Ali, commander of the Free Syrian Army, is captured by Isis leaving his wife and four children in disarray. The now fatherless family must decide whether to stay and face the increasing danger in Aleppo, or join thousands of others on the road to Europe.

Told through the eyes of sisters Sara, Farah, and Helen along with their brother Mohammed, Children on the Frontline: The Escape depicts the trials of one young family's three-year journey from the comfortable life of middle-class suburbanites to asylum seekers in an unknown Germany.


Killer Women with Piers Morgan



Piers Morgan comes face-to-face with America's notorious female murderers (credit: ITV)

Piers Morgan travels across North America to meet the United States' most notorious female murderers in his attempt to answer the question 'what drives a woman to kill?' 

In the first of a two-part series, Morgan meets 24 year-old Texan Erin Caffey who, as a teenager, arranged the killing of her entire family as they slept.

Featuring one-to-one interviews with Caffey and her father Terry, who survived the attack by his daughter, the show aims to explore the psychology behind such crimes.  



Sky Atlantic


Damian Lewis is the hot-shot hedge fund manager in Sky Atlantic's new drama (credit: Jeff Neumann/ Showtime)

It's lawyers versus bankers in Sky Atlantic's new drama series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.

Billions centres around the story of powerful legal-mind Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) as he investigates rumours of insider trading linked to hedge-fund hot shot Bobby Axelrod (Lewis).

The game is on as the two battle it out amongst New York's financial elite.    



Invictus Games 2016


Gabby Logan, Rachael Latham, Ade Adepitan, and Daraine Mulvihill present the Invictus Games 2016 (credit: BBC)
Gabby Logan, Rachael Latham, Ade Adepitan, and Daraine Mulvihill present the week-long showcase of veteran talent (credit: BBC)

Inaugurated by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games showcases the sporting prowess of injured servicemen and women from 14 countries. Athletes compete in disciplines ranging from sitting volleyball and indoor rowing to archery, weightlifting, and the triathlon.

On the final day of the Games in Orlando, Florida, Ade Adepitan introduces highlights from the wheelchair basketball tournament and Eddie Butler and Tanni Grey-Thompson present the closing ceremony concert. 





Joe and Jake take to the Eurovision stage in Stockholm with You're Not Alone (credit: BBC) 

Sweden hosts the annual singing competition, this year presented by 2015 winner Måns Zemerlöw and comedian Petra Mede in the capital Stockholm. The BBC will air the live final with Graham Norton returning as the UK's official commentator.

Britain's hopefuls, Joe and Jake, will sing You're Not Alone in the second half of Saturday evening as they bypass Tuesday's and Thursday's semi-finals along with France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and host nation Sweden.

Always a programme for firsts, this year sees an historic appearance from pop sensation Justin Timberlake as he becomes the first non-contestant to perform on the competition stage. 


Let's Do It: A Tribute to Victoria Wood



Alison Steadman and Lenny Henry pay tribute to Victoria Wood in a one hour special (credit: ITV)

One month on from the death of one of Britain's best-loved comedians and the nation still mourns the untimely passing of Victoria Wood. 

Fellow celebrities Alison Steadman, Lenny Henry, Celia Imrie, and Michael Ball pay tribute in an hour-long special on the diverse career of the writer and performer. 

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