Telly Today: January, 14th 2020 highlights this Tuesday evening include Ben Fogle in a cold cold place, possibly the worst transport system in the world – The Tyne and Wear Metro comes to TV and Sid James is the classic laughs.

ONE TO WATCH: THIS IS OUR FAMILY, SKY ATLANTIC at 10.10pm

For years in the making, This is Our Family is an ambitious longitudinal documentary series following four families from across the UK.

Some of the county’s top documentary makers, Clare Richards best-known for Acid Attack: My Story, Will Yapp from The Real Full Monty, Marcus Plowright who gave us The Murder of Jill Dando and Ellena Wood from Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia follow four families from 2017 to the present.

The production tells viewers the stories of their lives over a three-year timespan.

First, Clare Richard’s film tells the story of the Borg family from Newport. Tony, father of eight and one of the Uk’s top boxing coaches is set to marry for the first time at age 50. But his bride-tobe
is still struggling to comes to terms with the death of her 19-year-old daughter.

THE METRO: A RAIL LIFE STORY, ITV, STV and  UTV at 7.30pm

This four-part documentary series for ITV follows life on the Tyne and Wear Metro – the first time cameras have been allowed in-depth behind the scenes at the UK’s biggest metro system outside London.

The Metro is 48 miles long, with passengers making 37 million journeys a year around Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside – when it works.

In the first episode, it’s the start of the Summer, and the Metro staff brace themselves for one of the busiest days of the year.

The Spice Girls are in town as part of their comeback world tour, meaning 50,000 fans from far and wide will be descending on Sunderland, putting additional pressure on the Metro’s already stretched resources. Every one of the Metro’s ageing fleet of trains will be needed to cope with the higher than the usual number of passengers – meaning that planning has to be spot on so the system doesn’t grind to a halt.

With 60 stations the Tyne and Wear Metro serve 100,000 passengers a day and its trains travel 10,000 miles a day. But, as the series reveals, it’s a service that is often under fire and stretched to its limits as, ahead of a new fleet being delivered, it currently operates with trains that are as old as the Metro itself.

BEN FOGLE: NEW LIVES IN THE WILD, CHANNEL 5 at 9pm

Ben Fogle sets off to meet more people who have turned their back on the rat race and have set up home in some of the most remote locations on Earth.

This week Ben joins a variety of brave folks who chose to venture down a very alternative route from everyday life. In North-East Siberia he meets maverick scientist Nikita, a former maths student who was living in the city when his father asked for help with an extra-ordinary scientific experiment in one of the most remote places on Earth – the Russian Arctic.

Ben sees how Nikita is attempting to stop the frozen grounds from thawing, which has been blamed on global warming.

WORLDS MOST EVIL KILLERS, SKY CRIME at 9pm

Known as “The Classified Ad Rapist”, Bobby Joe Long was one of the most vicious and sick serial killers in US history.

Through the 1980s, Lon committed at least 50 rapes by answering classified ads selling small appliances, and if he found the seller was female and alone, would attack them in their own home.

Long progressed from these premeditated attacks by murdering at least ten women from 1984 – sexually assaulting them and often displaying their bodies after. It was only when he released his final victim that police were able to finally catch him, and he was killed by lethal injection last year.

HOW TO STEAL PIGS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, CHANNEL 4 at 10pm

This documentary follows a unique community of established vegan and ex-vegan influencers.

Some are embarking on an escalating series of daring farmyard heists, others are devoted to their back-bedroom chicken sanctuaries, and some are extreme ex-vegans, now notorious for their jaw-dropping raw-meat-only diet.

Some enjoy hundreds of thousands of followers and know exactly what it takes to make an impact online.

CLASSIC CHOICE: BLESS THIS HOUSE, FORCES TV at 7pm

It’s another double-bill of this fabulous Thames Television sitcom starring Sid James.

In the first episode, The Bells are Ringing, at long last Mike seems to have found his true love, and he announces that he is getting married. To Sid and Jean’s dismay, it’s not long before Sally announces she has fallen for Mike’s girlfriend’s father. Can either relationship last? First broadcast in 1974 as part of the 4th series.

It’s followed at 7.30pm by the episode The First 25 Years are the Worst. Sid and Jean plan a party for their 25th wedding anniversary, and Mike gets his friend to make up some invitation cards. Unfortunately, the invitation has the wrong date on it. Meanwhile, Sally and Mike have an idea for a new career.  The series also stars, of course, Diana Coupland, Sally Geeson and Robin Stewart.

 Sid James, pictured at ATV in the sixties, will be making us laugh in Bless This House at 7pm.


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