TV Highlights: From flamboyant Freddie Mercury to the unsealing of the Queen Mother’s will

Telly Today picks for Saturday, 19th February…

Telly Addicts…

Team captains Fay Ripley and Rob Beckett are joined by celebrity guests, Katherine Ryan, Denise Lewis, Gregg Wallace and Big Zuu, to compete head-to-head and test their TV trivia knowledge as Chaser, comedian and TV trivia genius Paul Sinha returns to ITV for the second series of Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown. 

The new series will be bursting with more brilliant clips, featuring the most talked-about TV moments from recent years and yesteryear. Once again, even the most self-proclaimed of quiz pros will be tested as Paul guides the celebrities through four challenging rounds, including questions about a smorgasbord of clips, identifying a TV character from a set of clues given by celebrity guests, and the dramatic final spotlight round.

Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown, ITV/STV/UTV, 9.40 pm


In the driving seat…

An in-depth portrait of the life and career of the late MotoGP racer, Marco Simoncelli.

23 October 2021 marked ten years since one of MotoGP’s brightest talents was extinguished after a freak accident at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Sepang. Simoncelli was and still is, considered to be one of the greatest raw talents of the premier motorcycle racing class.

SIC, directed by Alice Filippi and produced by Sky, pays tribute to the racer and has been created through interviews and previously unpublished testimonials from his friends and MotoGP rivals.

SIC: Prince of MotoGP, Sky Documentaries, 9pm


Movie Premiere…

Oscar-winning musical biopic from director Bryan Singer charting the life of the fearlessly, fantastically flamboyant Freddie Mercury, featuring the music of Queen.

In 1970, 24-year-old baggage handler Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek) stumbles upon the band Smile in a London pub. He likes what he sees and, after the gig, he approaches them and asks if he can join.

As luck would have it, guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) inform him that their lead singer has just quit, and Farrokh’s got some pretty good pipes on him.

Before you know it, Farrokh’s changed his name to Freddie and Smile have changed their name to Queen. After a rocky start, the band become a pop-rock juggernaut, but behind the scenes, Freddie finds himself struggling with fame, substance abuse issues and his sexuality. In 1985, the band’s future hangs in the balance. Can a performance at the Live Aid charity benefit at Wembley revitalise them?

Big tunes. Big drama. Bigger teeth. – Channel 4

Bohemian Rapsody, Channel 4, 9 pm


Right Royal carry on…

Whitehall — London’s lost royal palace — was destroyed by fire in 1698.

When Henry VIII first snatched the palace from Cardinal Wolsey in 1530, he set about spending the equivalent of £10 million, turning it into what some historians have called ‘a great big leisure centre’. But if you know where to look, it is still possible to find the remnants of what was once the largest palace in Europe hiding in plain sight.

The Banqueting House, sitting quietly on London’s most powerful street (which was directly named after the palace), is the sole surviving building from the historic Whitehall Palace. The Ministry of Defence building is home to the nation’s top secrets. But perhaps the biggest secret is the wine cellar belonging to Henry VIII that’s hidden away in its basement.

Royal intervention saved the precious cellar from destruction, triggering a huge engineering project to move the cellar from beneath the foundations of the new building. In 2012, a couple from Manchester decided to invite the Queen to their wedding — and, surprisingly, she turned up!

The unsealing of the Queen Mother’s will in 2002 caused a scandal when it was revealed the Queen wouldn’t have to pay 40 percent inheritance tax bill on the wealth and palaces left to her. The will was designed to ensure the ongoing protection of the palaces and numerous treasures in the Royal Collection.

Secrets of the Royal Palaces, Channel 5, 8.30 pm

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