The best on the Box: pirate radio, cockpits, Elvis and the old bill

ATV Today Editor Shaun Linden picks the best from the box for the coming week, August 12th to August 18th, in ATV Saturday.

The BBC this week brings us Seven Days In Summer: Countdown To Partition on BBC Two. Set over the seven dramatic days leading up to the partition of India and Pakistan, this film (Tuesday August 15th 9pm), gives a blow-by-blow account of that tumultuous week, as chaos consumed the Indian sub-continent during the last days of British Rule.

From the flashpoints of the Punjab and Ghandi’s base in Calcutta to the burning streets of Lahore and beyond, the film tells the powerful and moving story of some of the millions of people affected by this unique historical event. Told from the perspective of ordinary villagers and townspeople caught up in events, the film reveals how the joys of Independence Day in India and Pakistan were overshadowed by misery in the summer of 1947 and explores just why the violence was so intense.

While on BBC Three People Just Do Nothing returns for its fourth series (Tuesday August 15th). The crew of west London pirate radio station Kurupt FM – MC Grindah, DJ Beats and Chabuddy G – are back, playing the finest UK garage and drum ‘n’ bass to their 100 strong listenership. In episode one, Grindah (Allan Mustafa) and Steves’s (Steve Stamp) nonstop bender starts to grate on the rest of Kurupt FM.

Meanwhile, Miche (Lily Brazier) is thriving and sets her sights on a modeling career for her and Angel (Olivia Jasmine Edwards). Chabuddy (Asim Chaudhry) takes Beats (Hugo Chegwin) shopping for baby stuff in the hopes of finding himself a MILF. Tensions at the station reach breaking point when a rival radio station is discovered and the boys try to prevent Grindah spiraling out of control

People Just Do Nothing returns to online ‘tv station’ BBC Three.

ITV take us up in the air with Inside the Cockpit on Monday. Last year British people took more flights than ever before, and with air travel increasing there’s now a worldwide shortage of pilots. This year easyJet, the UK’s biggest airline, launched its largest ever pilot recruitment drive including a focus on encouraging more women to apply for this career where females currently make only three per cent of pilots worldwide.

This two-part prime time series (Monday August 14th, 9pm, ITV, UTV, STV) opens the door into the cockpit to follow rookie pilots as they take their first steps from the flight school classroom into the flight simulator, and on to flying large jets with hundreds of passengers on board. Becoming a pilot involves dedication and determination and the trainees come from every walk of life. But does the reality live up to the dream of flying high?

Narrated by Philip Glenister, The Brighton Police (Thursday August 16th, 9pm, ITV, UTV, STV) follows officers on raids, undertaking surveillance, taking statements from witnesses and gathering evidence to bring criminals to justice. The first episode features officers tracing the criminals behind an armed robbery at a betting shop, and although the perpetrators have got away, detective sergeant Julie Greenwood is confident they will strike again.

After a six-month undercover operation, officers are closing in on a gang who they believe are controlling much of the class A drug supply in the city. Properties are raided and the leader of the gang is pursued through the centre of town. The cops also stumble upon a substantial stash of what looks like cocaine at one of the properties. Then, just as Julie predicted, the armed robbers strike again at a different betting shop, but this time, police are able to identify them, and a search for the perpetrators and the gun they used to threaten staff ensues.

ITV take to the air with Inside The Cockpit on Monday.

Best of the Rest… and its a welcome return to Sun Hill on UKTV’s channel Drama this week. For the first time in many years The Bill is to be screened right from the very beginning.
“The Bill is one of the most loved and recognisable TV dramas of the last 30 years. We are delighted to bring back this iconic show from the beginning in 2017 for our viewers to enjoy all over again. It is fantastic to celebrate the occasion with this exciting reunion of the brilliant cast members.” – Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama

Classic TV police series The Bill is returning to the small screen, with the channel set to repeat every episode for the first time since the show aired in 1984. To celebrate the occasion, six former cast members last week were reunited along with an original 1990s police car used in the series. The gritty drama, based on the work and lives of police officers at fictitious Sun Hill station, ran for an astonishing 26 years until 2010 – and now the Drama channel is re-showing every episode from this Monday (Aug 14th), starting with the first installment from 1984.

For the first time ever since the original broadcasts, all 2,421 episodes will be shown in chronological order – and as well as being broadcast from the very beginning on weekdays at 12-noon on Drama, episodes will also be available to catch up on UKTV Play.

Channel 4 brings us a new series with former House Party, Top of the Pops and Swap Shop star Noel Edmonds. In Cheap, Cheap, Cheap (Monday August 14th, 3pm) Edmonds, who hosted Deal or No Deal for the network, launches this brand new comedy game show which sees viewers step inside Noel’s Store for the first time. Contestants try to win £25,000 while manager Barry, health and happiness guru Marijana, sales assistant Kelly and delivery man Keith ensure there’s never a quiet moment in this craziest of game shows. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap airs daily for the next six weeks.

On Thursday (August 17th, 9pm) Channel 4 airs Taxi of Mum and Dad. The show follows eight families who’ve rigged their cars with multiple cameras, allowing viewers to eavesdrop on their every conversation. This brand new programme explores the joys and challenges of parenting teenagers today by being set in the one place where conversations still take place: the family car. At home parents have to compete with technology for their teens’ attention and rarely have the opportunity to catch up and connect. But offering a lift provides the perfect opportunity for parents to find out what’s really going on. Relationships, parties, holidays, drinking, work, school and home life are all explored in fresh and unfiltered conversations.

On Wednesday (August 16th) series five of Ray Donovan begins on Sky Atlantic (9pm). Life finally seems OK for Ray, but he’s about to enter uncharted waters as Ray, Mickey and the rest of television’s toughest family are back in the crime drama, starring Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight and Susan Sarandon. With the Russian mob seemingly
off Ray’s back for good, all his secrets out in the open, and the dysfunctional family apparently united against all threats, Ray’s tribe appears to be untouchable. Can the Donovans maintain this front when other elements of the shady Los Angeles underworld come calling? Or will this be the year that the law finally catches up with Ray?

Sky Atlantic’s biggest-launching new show of the year so far, Riviera, comes to the end of its first series (Thursday August 17th, 9pm). The murder of a loved one pushes Georgina to the edge, doubling her resolve to free her family from danger, but to do this she must confront their opponents head on.

The rest of the family secure themselves in the villa under the protective wing of Negrescu, but when his connection to Fatima is revealed Irina is forced to make a choice between her lover and her family. Not only that, Georgina receives a message that appears to be from beyond the grave… could it finally lead her to the truth?

And on Sky Arts this Wednesday (August 16th) at 9pm The Seven Ages of Elvis looks at the life of ‘the king of rock ‘n roll’. Four decades after his death, Sky Arts looks at the life and enduring legacy of the King. This fascinating new documentary examines the life and work of Elvis Presley and shines a light on how and why he became an enduring colossus of pop culture.

Looking at his legacy through the lens of seven iconic stages of his life, from the fame-hungry Elvis of the 50s and the Hollywood Elvis of the 60s to the leather-clad comeback Elvis of ’68 and the overweight Vegas Elvis of the 70s, this film analyses his achievements against the changing political landscape of America and paints an honest portrait of one of the world’s most legendary music icons.

The legacy of Elvis on the big screen is marked by Sky Cinema. In a line up under the Hail to The King banner Sky Cinema Select marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ death. On Wednesday (August 16th) Sky salutes the great Elvis Presley with breezy, escapist fun as the Hillbilly Cat heads to Hawaii (Blue Hawaii/Paradise, Hawaiian Style),Mexico (Fun in Acapulco) and even the bottom of the ocean (Easy Come, Easy Go).

The line up starts at 9.30am with GI Blues, at 11.20am its Blue Hawaii. 1.10pm sees Fun in Acapulco and at 2.55pm Roustabout. 4.45pm brings us Paradise, Hawaiian Style and the final Elvis offering is at 6.30pm with Easy Come, Easy Go.

Not since the old days of UK Gold has any ‘classic’ episodes of The Bill been seen. It returns on Monday at noon on UKTV Drama.
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