ATV Today Editor Shaun Linden picks the best from the box for the coming week, July 22nd-28th, in ATV Saturday.
The best from the BBC this week includes later today the live final of Pitch Battle on BBC One. Host Mel Giedroyc is joined tonight (July 22nd, 7.25pm) by a trio of musical judges including choirmaster Gareth Malone and guest judge Deke Sharon. Between them they will whittle the six final choirs down to the top two through a series of head-to-head, sing-or-be-sung-off choral challenges – leaving the viewers to pick the ultimate winner.
The final opens with an epic musical mash-up, then each group will collaborate with a Superstar – which includes Will Young, Chaka Khan, Bebe Rexha and Seal among others – in a Showstopper. It’s of course up to the public to vote online to crown the winner of the £50,000 prize and the title of Pitch Battle Champions.
I love a bit of political debate and this week sees a new series of Conversations on BBC Parliament air. Four of the most talked about political figures of modern times talk to BBC political correspondent Sean Curran about their rise to the top of British politics and some of the controversial and divisive issues they have tackled in their careers.
In the first edition which airs on Sunday (July 23rd at 8pm) Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland, and former SNP MP discusses the big influences which have made him the politician he is today. His father voted Labour and his mother was a Conservative. He recalls how an encounter with a rude Labour canvasser turned his father into an SNP voter. The man who brought his country to the brink of independence in the 2014 referendum also talks about how the romance of his homeland continues to influence his politics.
Another beeb highlight arrives on telly screens this Thursday courtesy of BBC Four. In Prejudice And Pride: The People’s History Of LGBTQ Britain (27th July, 9pm) this two-part series tells the stories of ordinary people from across the UK, who share the objects that have defined their lives since homosexuality was partially decriminalised in 1967. The first episode explores the years between 1967 and 1987.
Host Mel Giedroyc oversees the live final of Pitch Battle on BBC One tonight at 7.25pm.
ITV highlights this coming week sees the channel go Inside London Fire Brigade. Last month the capital suffered its most devastating fire since the blitz. The Grenfell Tower tragedy shook Britain to the core and on the front line of the disaster were the heroic firefighters of the London Fire Brigade. It brought to the fore an emergency service who risk everything to help those in need. The three part ITV documentary series followed the brigade over the last year as they responded to a staggering range of emergencies. It provides a unique insight into their work, with firefighters filming themselves on the dangerous front line using special fire cameras. It is access on an unprecedented scale to incidents across the whole of London.
In the first programme, which airs on Thursday (27th July at 9pm), firefighters talk for the very first time about the Grenfell fire and their experiences of that tragic night. In never heard before accounts of what happened inside the tower, firefighters describe how they feared it might collapse and the horror of what they saw.
Also this week the broadcaster returns to Long Lost Family. This seven-part series, fronted by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, joins family members desperate to find their missing relatives.
In the first episode (Wed, 26th July at 9pm) the show meets a divorced couple searching together for the son they were forced to give up as teenagers. Marion and James met when they were seven years old growing up in Catford, South London, they began dating in their teens. But a year into their relationship their lives were turned upside down when Marion found out she was pregnant. They turned to their families for support but received quite the opposite. Their child was born in 1970, however after three months struggling, the baby was placed up for adoption. Also this week, the programme meets Cathie Cutler-Evans, a woman desperate to find her birth mother after more than 50 years apart.
ITV also airs the first episode of Call The Cleaners. Sisters Yvonne and Angela have been extreme cleaners for nearly two decades, and have worked on almost 6,000 jobs between them. We see them in London tackling the dirtiest flat they have ever encountered. Elsewhere Maxine set up her cleaning business 12 years ago and daughter Jasmine joined 2 years ago, they are seen in South London dealing with a hoarder who has 20 years’ worth of possessions cluttering his flat. In Somerset, we meet Shaun and his team, extreme cleaners who specialise in full house clearances. In the first episode (Mon, 24th July at 8pm), they are clearing a flat for a landlord.
Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall reunite family members on ITV’s Long Lost Family, Wednesday 26th July at 9pm