Best on the Box highlights for Sunday, February 2nd and it’s a lovely jubbly celebration on BBC One.
ONE TO WATCH: SIR DAVID JASON AT 80: A LOVELY JUBBLY CELEBRATION, BBC ONE at 5.10pm
A rather early screening for such a celebration really, you’d think one of the nation’s best-loved actors could have been gifted a prime time slot on the Beeb, but as Del Boy may have said ‘Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateauneuf du Pape!’.
The 35-minute tribute hosted by Johnny Vegas takes a trip through the BBC archives to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of Britain’s biggest stars of the small screen.
Sir David Jason has had a varied career across both ITV and the BBC, the latter arguably where his best known works have taken to the air and made his television debut in 1965’s Mother Goose. Other parts followed in BBC One cop drama Softly, Softly, two runs in ATV soap opera Crossroads in a early ‘Del Boy’ prototype, BBC comedy Hugh and I, LWT’s G&S Comedy and Thames Television’s Do Not Adjust Your Set.
By the 1970s the parts were bigger in shows such as BBC sitcom’s Porridge and Open All Hours, both alongside comedy great Ronnie Barker before taking the lead role in 1974’s The Top Secret Life of Edgar Biggs with LWT and from 1977 to 1981 A Sharp Intake Of Breath as Peter Barnes for ATV.
When A Sharp Intake of Breath came to an end David was offered the part in a BBC series entitled Only Fools and Horses, they didn’t think it would run long but it became one of David’s most popular series where he became infamous as wheeler dealer Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter.
Following Del’s adventures David was in much demand in both dramatic roles and comedy, Yorkshire Television became a home for Jason in the 1990s with comedy drama The Darling Buds of May, sitcom A Bit of A Do and crime drama A Touch of Frost. Through all this he was also the voice of Children’s ITV favourite Danger Mouse alongside Terry Scott as sidekick Penfold and in more recent times he’s reprised his role of Granville in Still Open All Hours.
Sir David Jason at 80 brings interviews, insight and Only Fools rare-ities as Still Open All Hours co-star Johnny Vegas looks at the man behind so many much-loved characters and pieces together the story of David’s rise to the top of the comedy tree.
David as Bernie Kilroy in Crossroads, ATV.
David as Granville in Open All Hours, BBC.
David stars as Peter Barnes in A Sharp Intake of Breath, ATV.
David as Derek Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, BBC.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SKY COMEDY at 9pm
Saturday Night Live coming live from New York for more than four decades on stateside television is back on UK screens tonight courtesy of recently launched Sky Comedy.
The Sunday screening of SNL arrives on the home of American funnies 24-hours after its screening in America. The run on Sky Comedy sees SNL back on British television for the first time in fourteen years when it last appeared on ITV4. Previously the series had been screened on various networks here during the 1990s including on Sky One, MTV and Paramount Channel. Back in the 1980s viewers of ITV in some regions were also entertained with highlights of the show.
Saturday Nigh Live brings weekly celebrity hosts who join an award-winning ensemble of regular cast to perform the show’s world-famous blend of comedic sketches, satirical news and digital shorts, alongside performances from popular musical acts.
GEORGE CLARKE’S OLD HOUSE NEW HOME, CHANNEL 4 at 8pm
George Clarke takes on a classic 1930s terraced home with a kitchen that’s so tiny the fridge and oven have to live in another room!
The two mismatched fireplaces are causing marital strife, with one of the couple loving the original 1930s one, and the other favouring the Victorian reproduction. Only one fireplace can stay in George’s new art deco-inspired scheme. Which one will bite the dust? Plus, George revisits a Victorian home where he previously helped renovate the bottom two floors.
Now the young couple are tackling the two top floors, including a notoriously tricky space… the loft. Can he come up with a scheme to make this oddly shaped space beautiful and multi-functional?
VERA, ITV, STV and UTV at 8pm
When wealthy betting shop magnate Alun Wilmott is shot and killed after returning home early amid a terrifying home invasion, it’s assumed that he is the unlucky victim of a burglary gone wrong. The culprits abscond with a huge amount of cash from Alun’s personal safe, leaving his wife and daughter (Louise and Jess Wilmott) traumatised in their wake. Vera (Brenda Blethyn) suspects and inside job and immediately targets the affluent neighbourhood’s shady head of private security, Ciaran Duggan, whose history of violent crime calls his reformed character into question.
As Vera’s team delve deeper into Alun’s life, she discovers a paranoid and possessive man whose family and business interests were being targeted on all sides. Wilmott’s passion project, a greyhound racing stadium where his empire first began, is a drain on company funds in the age of online gambling. Ruthless, cost-cutting business policies made enemies out of disgruntled gamblers and over-worked bookmakers alike. The sharks were circling, calling for Alun to be sacked as CEO. But as Vera soon discovers, the truth behind Alun’s tragic death may be far more insidious and meticulously planned than first appears.
SIX NATIONS LIVE, BBC ONE from 2.30pm
The Six Nations coverage continues today with World Cup runners-up England beginning their pursuit of a first Six Nations title since 2017 with a mouth-watering away trip to old adversaries France.
Eddie Jones’ England side beat Les Bleus 44-8 at Twickenham last season but have lost three on their past four visits to Paris. A trip to the Stade de France – for a fixture affectionately known as ‘Le Crunch’ – looks set to test England’s credentials from the off.
France, who were knocked out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage by Wales, will be playing under new head coach Fabien Galthie for the first time. John Inverdale hosts the coverage with expert analysis from Martin Johnson, Jeremy Guscott, Thomas Castaignede and former England captain Dylan Hartley while Eddie Butler, Brian Moore and Paul O’Connell provide the commentary.
Last in series: Vera, tonight on ITV.