Twixmas, Chrimbo Limbo, Winterval… whatever you call it, you probably agree it’s best to remain on the sofa. Here are the programmes that can fill the space betwixt familial ordeals and New Year’s celebrations.
Murder is Easy
BBC One, 9.00pm
Following the Kenneth Branagh tradition of ensemble cast Agatha Christie adaptations, the BBC’s version of the 1939 crime classic stars Industry’s David Jonsson as retired policeman Luke Fitzwilliam.
Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) enters the tale as the enigmatic Miss Pinkerton, who, after a meeting him on a train, persuades Fitzwilliam to investigate a series of murders, deemed as ‘accidents’ in her small village. The cast of characters he meets there includes Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials), Sinead Matthews (Hullraisers), Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), and Big Boys’ Jon Pointing.
The Big Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale
ITV’s biggest soaps battle it out to find who knows the most about their on-screen homes. Catchphrase’s Stephen Mulhern will be dishing out questions on the year’s storylines and their colleagues’ social media posts, and even testing their music knowledge with ‘Singalong a Soapstar’.
Jack P Shephard will be heading the Coronation Street team, with Channique Sterling-Brown and Tony Maudsley joining him to fight for the trophy. Natalie Ann Jamieson and Kevin Mathurin make up the Emmerdale team, with Mark Charnock taking team captain.
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Hogmanay Fishing
BBC Two, 9.00pm
Friends and fellow comedians Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer have been fishing together, both on and off TV, for years, finding it reinvigorating after Mortimer’s lifesaving triple by-pass surgery.
For Mortimer and Whitehouse, Christmas specials are a thing of the past. This year they will be trading it in to celebrate the Scottish festival Hogmanay, which welcomes in the new year and says goodbye to the old. In the hour long special, they will fish for salmon in the rivers Dee, Tay and Ericht, learn about Hogmanay traditions, have visits from celebrity guests, and special performances from musicians.
BBC One, 9.00pm
The BBC takes us back to 1994 to look at a dramatized account of the world’s first Viagra trial, taking place in Wales.
Each man engaging in the trial is hoping the little blue pill can fix something in his life, from yearning for intimacy, to trying to keep the spark alive.
The single drama will feature a wealth of Welsh talent including, Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Paul Rhys (Saltburn), Steffan Rhodri (House of the Dragon), Mark Lewis Jones (The Reckoning), and Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey).
The Kemps: All Gold
BBC Two, 10.00pm
Gary and Martin Kemp star in their own Spinal Tap style mockumentary. The first instalment, The Kemps: All True, gave viewers a glimpse into the (presumably, fictionalised) men behind Spandeu Ballet, their side quests and hobbies that keep them entertained – for Martin, a film franchise he’s trying to get off the ground and for Gary, a vegan meat-substitute called Wonge.
For The Kemps: All Gold, Gary has moved to the countryside so he can write Spandeu the Ballet in peace, only to have this shattered with Martin arriving on his doorstep, freshly divorced and ready to form a supergroup. Celebrity special guests joining the Kemps include two-time RTS Award winner Lenny Rush (Am I Being Unreasonable?), Christopher Eccleston (The A Word) and Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi.
Money Heist: Berlin
Money Heist’s spin-off will focus on Pedro Alonso’s popular character Andrés de Fonollosa, better known by his code name Berlin. Fonollosa starred in the first five parts of Money Heist as the main driving force in the two high octane heists, before (SPOILER) he sacrificed himself for his associates in the final moments of series two, being shot dead.
The prequel will focus on a heist from Berlin’s past – an attempt to steal €44 million in a single evening from the man he is cuckholding.