ATV Today Editor Shaun Linden takes a look at some of the best on the box this weekend and a few highlights for the coming week
One to Watch: Sir Bruce – A Celebration, Sunday, BBC One, 9pm
Filmed at the London Palladium, this very special tribute from the beeb is hosted by Tess Daly and will bring to screens a variety of famous faces and friends to honour one of this country’s biggest and best-loved entertainers and broadcasters, Sir Bruce Forsyth.
This celebration of Sir Bruce’s life has music, dance and entertainment at its heart. As well as featuring some of Sir Bruce’s favourite songs, the show will also include dance performances, onstage tributes and fond memories of Sir Bruce from guests with whom he shared a special connection.
Dave Arch and his Strictly Come Dancing band and vocalists, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, will be onstage to accompany the performances.
Sir Bruce, after many years in the business working theatres, made his television break with ATV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He went on to host some of the UK’s best-known game shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and of course Strictly Come Dancing alongside Tess Daly.
The entertainer died at the age of 89 on August 18th last year, after a run of ill health. The legendary singer, dancer, comedian and presenter became unwell following a fall in November 2015, which lead to him pulling out of hosting Bruce’s Halls of Fame for the beeb. At the time the veteran entertainer underwent keyhole surgery on an abdominal aortic aneurysm which was discovered after medical treatment for the tumble. Despite initial optimism that he would return to screens his health never fully recovered. He died at his home in Surrey surrounded by his closest family. Sunday however is about his life, and the legacy Sir Bruce has left behind.
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Saturday, ITV including STV and UTV, 7pm
Ant and Dec are back for another action-packed show. Expect super-sized audience surprises, incredible stunts and celebrity guests ITV say. James Corden is this week’s Star Guest Announcer, he’s joining in the fun throughout and helping the audience at home win prizes in the return of ‘Read my Lips,’ and Ant and Dec dish out more Places on the Plane in the ‘Happiest Minute of the Week’.
Sofawatch is back with a twist and, with Mother’s Day approaching, the duo give one lucky mum the mother of all surprises in their most ambitious audience hit to date. Stephen Mulhern returns with the pop-up game show ‘In For a Penny’ and this week he’s on the streets of Reading giving members of the public the chance to win a big cash prize!
The plot thickens in the latest instalment of Saturday Knight.. With the Head of “The Honoured” Joanna Lumley kidnapped by a mysterious Knight, it’s up to Ant and Dec to find the villain… with a little help from old friend. In celebration of Andrew Loydd Webber’s 70th birthday Ant and Dec bring the magic of the musicals to the Takeaway studio when as they perform some of his best-loved numbers in a show-stopping ‘End of the Show Show’. And on top of all that, another lucky player gets the chance to Win The Ads in the only show on TV that says “don’t just watch the adverts – win ‘em!”
Dancing on Ice, Sunday, ITV including STV and UTV, 6pm
It’s the grand final of the restored Dancing on Ice from ITV. Hosted by This Morning regulars Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, the final three celebrities compete to become this year’s Champion of the Rink.
Skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean lead the judging panel alongside expert choreographer Jason Gardiner and dance supremo, Ashley Banjo. With the help of some of the world’s greatest skating professionals, our remaining celebrities take to the ice in their bid to become the 2018 champions. The last show of the series also sees the phenomenal heroes of the ice, Torvill & Dean, take to the rink for a very special performance.
Betting wise William Hill tells us that there has been a significant move for Brooke Vincent to win the show and her odds of winning have tumbled from 7/1 into 9/2. Although Jake is the red hot favourite to win at 1/6.
Dancing On Ice Winner: 1/6 Jake Quickenden, 9/2 Brooke Vincent, 12/1 Max Evans.
The Last Leg: Paralympics Special, Channel 4, 10pm
The award-winning series continues as it returns to its Paralympics roots with a live special that rounds up all the the 2018 Winter Paralympics action from South Korea.
Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe celebrate the feats of human endurance and highlight some of the extreme winter sports events taking place in PyeongChang, as well as lending a hand in some of the sports themselves. The trio are joined live in the studio by some special guest Paralympians: Kadeena Cox, Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock, and comedian and presenter of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off Noel Fielding.
City of Tiny Lights, Sky Cinema, from Saturday 10th March
We’ll end our Best on the Box weekend highlights with a movie. This stylish London-set crime caper starsRogue One and The Night Of ’s Riz Ahmed, here playing a world-weary, whisky-swigging private eye, Tommy Akhtar, tasked with tracking down a missing sex worker.
His sprawling investigation quite naturally takes him to the some of the darkest corners of the capital, where shady small-business deals and elements of radical Islam muddy the waters.
Things are complicated even further by the reappearance of Billie Piper’s Shelley, an old flame who brings up memories of a harrowing incident from Tommy’s teenage years.
Sir Bruce Forsyth is back on Sunday night television, from the London Palladium, for one last time this weekend on BBC One.
The Ruth Ellis Files – A Very British Crime Story, BBC Four, Tuesday, March 13th, 9pm
In this investigative three-part series for BBC Four, filmmaker Gillian Pachter re-examines the Ruth Ellis case.
In July 1955, Ruth was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Her crime: the cold-blooded murder of her lover David Blakely.It is a case that shocked the nation and still fascinates today. It has its place in ushering in the defence of diminished responsibility and the eventual abolishment of capital punishment.
We all think we know the story, but why, when it was seemingly such an open-and-shut case, does it still divide opinion on whether Ruth Ellis got the justice she deserved? Gillian wants to find out.In this first episode, Gillian takes a forensic look at the police investigation and she soon discovers worrying assumptions and problematic omissions.
There is also a key witness who was never questioned by the police: Ruth’s 10 year-old son Andre, who tragically took his own life in the 1980s. He left behind an audio cassette that Gillian uses to piece together what the boy knew. Experts shed new light on the involvement on an alleged accomplice and Gillian tracks down those who met Ruth and David, in a bid to look beyond the law at the complex world of post-war Britain that made and broke Ruth Ellis.
Seven Year Switch, Channel 4, Tuesday March 13th, 9.15pm
Every year, thousands of people fall in love and get married. However, after years of being together, even the strongest couples can find themselves at a crossroads, forcing them to make the toughest of decisions – whether to stay or go. In a life-changing, high stakes experiment.
Four couples take the radical step to try to save their failing relationships by switching partners. This week the newly switched couples Rachel and George, Nikki and Tony, Gemma and Simon, and Michelle and Tom head out on their first dates together – where they open up about their failures at home and hopes for the experiment. The switched couples then face their first exercise.
Each person must witness moving, gut-wrenching revelations and confessions from their real partners, which they have never had the courage to say before now, sparking high emotions and fireworks.
Four Days that Shook Britain, ITV including STV and UTV, Thursday March 15th, 9pm
One year on from the first of four terror attacks which hit Britain in 2017, this brand new landmark 90-minute film special tells the personal stories of people who were caught up in the atrocities in Westminster, at Manchester Arena, around London Bridge and outside Finsbury Park Mosque.
Those involved – some speaking for the first time – relive the moments of fear and panic that unfolded after the attacks, building a vivid picture of these catastrophic and life-changing events. They also explain how they have continued to try to cope with the consequences ever since.
Featuring contributions from the likes of Grant Shapps MP, visitors to Parliament on the day of the Westminster Bridge attack, Ariana Grande fans injured in the Manchester bombing, those caught up in the London Bridge attack and members from the Muslim community in Finsbury Park, this programme aims to provide a compelling insight into the personal consequences of the attacks, as well as the public and political mood in the aftermath.