Telly Today: And we’re back, a technical issue yesterday saw us fall off the server, however, we return with highlights for Wednesday, February 19th and there’s a lorra lorra telly to watch including our Cilla and some Classic EastEnders vintage November 2000.

ITV celebrates the life and work of the late Cilla Black, tonight at 9pm.


Singer, actor, presenter, icon, Cilla Black was a talent who defined British television for over four decades. In the years following her death, Cilla’s family made a startling discovery – buried in the loft of her family home was a stash of never seen before films and behind the scenes footage from her personal video collection, along with hours of audio recording of Cilla telling her own life story.

The material dates back to 1969 and covers Cilla’s early career, recording her hits, hanging out with The Beatles and falling in love with Bobby Willis. It includes a guided tour by Cilla herself of her family home in Denham and holiday trips to Fiji, Hong Kong and Australia during the construction of the Sydney Opera House.

Cilla took several years out of the spotlight to raise her sons, before making a primetime comeback in 1984 on ITV with Surprise Surprise, followed by Blind Date in 1985. The shows introduced Cilla to a whole new generation and their incredible success meant they ran for nearly 20 years, with Cilla becoming the highest-paid woman on British TV

Cilla’s Lost Tapes show a pioneer who re-wrote the rules of showbusiness, providing an intimate portrait of a working-class girl who became a national treasure. Narrated by Sheridan Smith, who played Cilla in the 2014 ITV drama, this unique programme includes interviews with the family and friends who knew Cilla best, as they watch the lost footage for the first time and recall their own memories of a much-missed television icon.


Tom Kerridge and his gang of volunteers have spent two months on a quest to lose weight and get fit. Has controlling their calories delivered the weight loss they hoped for? And will they be measurably fitter having followed the NHS’s exercise recommendations?

Tom’s final recipe is a super-quick salad containing beetroot, kale, feta, edamame beans, pistachio nuts and farro.

Everyone taking part had set themselves personal goals, and it’s time to see if all their hard work has paid off. There are tense moments as they await their results and discover whether they’ve hit their targets.

Afterwards the gang enjoys their picnic around the campfire. Tom is hugely proud of what his volunteers have achieved in just two months. And when the gang pledges to continue to lose weight and get fit as a group, Tom is heartened and moved. It’s not the end after all – but a new beginning.


As well as all the drama going off on the River Thames in the current EastEnders to mark its 35th anniversary, BBC Four has also looked back in the archives to mark the BBC One serial hitting the big 3-5.

Tonight at 11.00pm reminisce in the company of Pam St Clement and Barbara Windsor as they look back on their glorious characters of Pat Butcher and Peggy Mitchell. All the classic moments are there, the slaps, the exchange of bitchy putdowns as well as the laughs and the friendship of the two women who were united by the love of the same man, Frank Butcher, played by the late great Mike Reid.

Then at 11.25pm we head back to November 2000 and there is more than just fireworks in the sky as this hour-long Bonfire special sees Frank and Pat plan to leave their respective partners to rekindle their on-off love affair. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite go to plan. Frank, having left Peggy a farewell note, is in a rush to find it before she does when the departure is halted. But its too late the scorned wife has read it and Peggy lets everyone know what a dirty tramp her pal Pat has been behind her back.

The whole pub is shocked, including Pat’s hubby Roy who tosses her out into the night, a cold wet night. Frank, however, decides to drive off into the night, missing Pat by moments. Cue the duff-duffs on a mascara running, soaked Pat. It’s a classic.

“I hope you enjoyed the fireworks… Good night!” – Peggy Mitchell

AVENUE 5, SKY ONE at 10pm

Created and executive produced by Armando Iannucci of Veep, Avenue 5 is set forty years in the future when travelling the solar system is no longer the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, but a booming, multibillion-dollar business.

Hugh Laurie stars as the suave and debonair Captain Ryan Clark – the man with his hands on the wheel of the luxury cruise liner Avenue 5 as it heads out of control through space following a gravity malfunction. But he’s the man you want in control when there’s a crisis, right? Nope.

The series also stars Josh Gad as billionaire Herman Judd, the mercurial face and name behind Avenue 5; Zach Woods as head of customer relations Matt Spencer; Rebecca Front as strong willed passenger Karen Kelly; Suzy Nakamura as Iris Kimura, Judd’s right-hand woman; Lenora Crichlow as engineer Billie McEvoy; Nikki Amuka-Bird as Rav Mulcair, head of Judd Mission Control; and Ethan Phillips as Spike Martin, a space enthusiast and former astronaut.

What do you take him for? Some sort of doughnut? ..the late great Mike Reid is torn between two lovers as Frank Butcher in Classic EastEnders, BBC Four

Share Button