Best on the Box highlights for Sunday, January 26th and there’s another case for Vera to solve on ITV, Melanie Sykes goes potty with Channel 4, BBC One calls the midwife while Talking Pictures TV return to Sunday Night at the London Palladium for a classic 1958 ATV edition.


ONE TO WATCH: VERA, ITV, STV and UTV at 8pm

Luke Sumner’s body is discovered close to his flat in Newcastle, but pathology concludes that the killing blow could have occurred several hours before he succumbed to his injuries, prompting Vera (Brenda Blethyn) to piece together Luke’s final hours in order to investigate his murder.

But Luke’s life is perplexingly spartan; working a punishing number of shifts for commercial cleaning company, ECS, and severing all ties to the quaint rural village where he grew up – including his mother Carmel.

Carmel and Luke have barely spoken in the last eight years, both of them still haunted by the murder of Luke’s have-a-go-hero father Seth by a petty burglar. When Vera finds out Luke left work in a rage, mid-shift she turns her attention to Luke’s amiable employers, Sonia and Clive Brock. But behind their helpful veneer, Vera uncovers disturbing claims of workplace intimidation and harassment.

As the team build a portrait of Luke’s world, they reveal a pattern of violence and self-loathing recurring throughout his life. Vera finds herself having to unpack Luke’s tragic past to discover the truth about his recent emotional turmoil and in so doing, catch his killer.

INSIDE ICELAND, CHANNEL 5 at 8pm

The documentary series that takes cameras behind the scenes of Iceland Supermarket’s continues with the third episode in the current series.

In this evening’s programme Iceland have observed that a current area for growth is in the vegan food offering. This leads the supermarket’s vegan buyer to visit a factory in order to gain information and observe the process behind the creation of meatless sausage rolls. While at the facility ideas are scoped out for possible vegan products for the frozen food chain in the future.

The product team also tuck into a selection of their rivals’ choc ices to measure up the competition while out in Italy the creatives develop a new ice-cream cake. Elsewhere, some environmentally friendly packaging for fruit and vegetables is put to the test with a view to making the company plastic free by 2023.

CALL THE MIDWIFE, BBC ONE at 8pm

Lucille (Leonie Elliott) is seconded to St Cuthbert’s when a ward Sister is off sick.

Lucille will supervise the pupil midwives and brush up on her hospital care. While there, Lucille experiences hostility from a mother to be, Connie (Hannah Onslow), who is begrudgingly on bed rest because her waters have broken early. Connie’s attitude feels like racism to Lucille, but she powers through to give Connie the best care she can.

Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) goes to the school to give the new pupils their inoculations and is concerned to meet two brothers, Rahul (Ahaan Gupta) and Jalal (Gaavan Kharbanda), who are new and come from Sylhet in East Pakistan (Bangladesh). It is unclear which jabs the boys have had and Nurse Crane takes it upon herself to speak to their parents.

THE GREAT POTTERY THROWDOWN, CHANNEL 4 at 7pm

Melanie Sykes hosts as the 10 remaining potters tackle raku firing, but first the pressure is on to hand-build two animal figurines and face a tricky ceramic technique, nerikomi.

Judges Sue Pryke and Keith Brymer Jones decide who will be Potter of the Week, and who will leave the pottery.

SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM: THE ORIGINAL SERIES, TALKING PICTURES TV at 9pm

It’s back to April 1958 for the next surviving episode of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. This edition of the variety show is presented Tommy Trinder.

Gaining average viewing figures of 14 million and Top Ten placings almost every week, it is undoubtedly one of the main shows that helped establish commercial television in the UK. This was a weekly television event that appealed to all classes, denominations and age groups – an unquestionable success which still provides a high benchmark that today’s variety shows can only aspire to.

On the bill this evening join Sarah Vaughan, Dick Shawn, Marvin Rainwater, Pinky and Perky, The John Tiller Girls and the game Beat the Clock. Next week we head into the 1960s – with no editions surviving from the last year of the 50s – and see the first episode to be retained in the ITV Archives hosted by the legend that is Sir Bruce Forsyth.


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