Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Week Fifty One: Vox Populi, Vox Dei

The role of The Doctor is obviously one of the best parts in television, obviously, but it can also be one of the most difficult – especially in terms of the attention it brings. In the new issue of the Radio Times yer actual Peter Capaldi talks about that public scrutiny and how it reminds him of his role in political satire The Thick Of It as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker. 'No one was particularly bothered about what I said before,' he says. 'What's now shocking is I can't say anything publically without it having a life. Not because I have extraordinary views but because people are keen on conflict, so they'll make that the story. They love to make out that Steven Moffat and I have disagreements. But that's business as usual. It made me realise how awful it must be to be a politician. I'm a lot more sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker's views now.' The alleged 'conflict' that Capaldi refers originally gained traction as a rumour after Capaldi told The Sunday Times earlier this year that there would be 'no flirting' between his Doctor and Jenna Coleman's Clara. 'It's quite a fun relationship [between the Doctor and Clara],' he told the paper, 'but, no, I did call and say "I want no Papa-Nicole moments." I think there was a bit of tension with that at first but I was adamant.' Speaking of the story, Capaldi says: 'I always felt it would be inappropriate for someone my age to be in any kind of flirtatious relationship with a young person. But I think everybody felt that.'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has spoken about his plans for the future of Doctor Who. The showrunner said that now yer actual Peter Capaldi has established himself in the role of The Doctor, the show 'can stop shocking the audience with Capaldi moments.' Speaking to SFX magazine - yes, it is still going. No, I was surprised as well - Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) said: 'I was looking for the Capaldi moments every episode, saying "We need a Capaldi moment, that moment where he's not Matt Smith, he's not David Tennant, where he's a dangerous, unpredictable, volatile character."' He continued: 'Because that slaps the audience awake, in a way. The longer you do a show the cosier it gets, the cosier it gets the nearer to death it gets. You really have to say to people "Pay attention. He's far more unpredictable than that." So now, having done that, and having blasted our new Doctor at them, we can go other places with him. We don't have to work at that anymore because people just accept him.' The Moffat his very self added: 'I won't be looking for the Capaldi moment next year because the whole show is a Capaldi moment.'

Doctor Who on Christmas Day is now a firm tradition on British television and the Radio Times has been there each year to celebrate with The Doctor; 2014 will be no exception as the 13 to 19 December issue's front cover features the tenth festive adventure for The Doctor, Last Christmas. This issue features an interview with guest star Nick Frost, during which he discusses the character he brings to life in the episode: 'My Santa is cross, mean and curt as well as cheery and funny. He's got a little bit of Robert De Niro in Mean Streets. And he has history with The Doctor: it's not talked about explicitly but they have a beef with each other from way back.' He also is very supportive of the show's writer: 'Steven Moffat is a very clever man - taking Doctor Who somewhere completely different isn't easy. And he was happy to allow me to improvise on set and push things out a bit.' The Moffat himself comments on The Doctor's latest encounter and his performer: 'It does look like the most insane moment when Santa turns up, but we haven't gone off our rockers. No, Santa is written in properly, in a science-fiction way, into Doctor Who. I've always had a very clear impression of Santa, but when we got Nick Frost, well, first of all how perfect is his name! Nicholas Frost. It's the nom de plume that Santa Claus would use, isn't it? Nick is ideal. He's what Santa should be in Doctor Who-land.'
This must be what it's like to live inside a Time Lord's head. One clever YouTuber - with more time on his or her hands than is probably entirely healthy, God bless 'em! - has stitched together the first fifteen minutes of every single Doctor Who episode from An Unearthly Child to the 1996 TV Movie. That's seven hundred and seven episodes (including reconstructions of the ninety odd that are, currently, lost) all playing simultaneously. The visuals are trippy enough, but the sound... It's like a million TARDISes landing at the same time inside a broken washing machine. Skill!
The Radio Times' Jonathan Holmes has written a reasonably amusing - and, reasonably accurate - article on Ten things that infuriate Doctor Who fans which, he notes, includes ten comments that 'turn Whovians into Daleks.' All good stuff but, sadly, Jonathan has missed out number one on any fan's list. 'Being called a sodding "Whovian" in the first place.'

The finale of I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) was the most-watched programme on Sunday evening, overnight data reveals. Carl Fogarty's victory jumped by over a million viewers from the previous week's episode to an average rating of 10.21m at 9pm on ITV. This was down by over seven hundred thousand from last year's final, but up from 2012's rating of 9.5m. Earlier, The X Factor rose by around four hundred thousand week-on-week to 8.17m at 8pm. BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing was also marginally down from last Sunday's episode to 9.29m at 7.30pm. Countryfile appealed to 6.75m at 6.30pm, while Antiques Roadshow brought in 5.52m at 8pm. The Michael Palin drama Remember Me concluded with 4.07m at 9pm. BBC2's seemingly endless and terminally boring coverage of the UK Snooker Championship scored 2.07m on average from 7pm. On Channel Four, Billion Pound Base interested 1.30m at 8pm, followed by the latest episode of Homeland with 1.22m at 9pm. Channel Five's broadcast of Where Eagles Dare was seen by six hundred and ninety seven thousand.

The annual Royal Variety Performance topped the overnight ratings outside soaps on Monday, however, the Michael McIntyre-hosted event was down by almost a million viewers from last year, attracting an average 6.52 million at 7.30pm on ITV. It was also down by nearly two million punters from 2012's performance. On BBC1, Panorama was watched by 2.92m at 8.30pm, followed by Richard Hammond's Wild Weather which continues to be one of the BBC's biggest flops of the year with a mere but 2.48m at 9pm. Yeah. You might want think about sticking with the day job for a while yet, Richard, because every other project the BBC have shoehorned you into have been toxic in terms of ratings. BBC2's Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two entertained 2.30m at 6.30pm, while the FA Cup Draw scored a very impressive 2.59m at 7pm. So, Alan Shearer is more popular than Richard Hammond, seemingly. Not that we need ratings figures to deduce that. University Challenge had an audience of 2.57m at 8pm - proving that Jezza Paxman is, also, more popular than Richard Hammond - followed by Only Connect with 2.01m at 8.30pm. Victoria Coren Mitchell isn't, apparently, more popular than Richard Hammond. She is, however, funnier, smarter and better looking. Swings and roundabouts, innit? Posh People continued with 1.25m at 9pm, while Never Mind the Buzzcocks was watched by eight hundred and ninety two thousand viewers at 10pm. On Channel Four, Odious Jamie Oliver's Worthless Christmas appealed to 1.37m at 8pm, followed by Skint with 1.10m at 9pm. Channel Five's latest episode of Gotham had an audience of nine hundred and twenty thousand at 9pm.

The Missing climbed back to over five million overnight viewers on Tuesday. The BBC1 drama benefited from I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) ending, rising by over six hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's episode to an average 5.31m at 9pm. On BBC2, MasterChef: The Professionals appealed to 2.79m at 8pm, followed by Secrets Of The Castle with 1.49m at 9pm. ITV's Champions League coverage of Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haw's piss-poor draw with Basel scored 4.14m at 7.30pm. Which is a damn sight more than Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws managed. On Channel Four, Nasty Kirstie's Horrible Handmade Christmas interested 1.81m at 8pm, followed by My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas with 1.95m at 9pm. A Gogglebox repeat was watched by 1.30m at 10pm. Channel Five's repeat of Michael Bublé's Christmas Special failed to entertain seven hundred and ninety nine thousand at 8pm, while Kids' Hospital At Christmas gathered 1.04m at 9pm. On BBC3, the documentary Our War had an audience of four hundred and four thousand at 9pm. On Sky1, the latest episode of The Flash was seen by five hundred and eighteen thousand at 8pm.

BBC2 and BBC4 will broadcast a series of factual programmes to accompany upcoming and much-anticipated BBC2 drama Wolf Hall. From January 2015, the channels will mark the five hundredth anniversary of the Tudor palace Hampton Court Palace with the collection of programmes celebrating the art and culture of the Tudor era. A Night at Hampton Court Palace will recreate a key event from the building's history to celebrate its five hundredth anniversary, with the christening of Henry's son and heir Prince Edward being imagined. Presenters Lucy Worsley - whom we're all big fans of here at From The North - and David Starkey - who's a bit grumpy and not to be messed with but who certainly knows his onions where the period is concerned - will offer audiences an insight into the world of Henry VIII and reveal how the household came together for an event which was the culmination of almost three decades of Henry's reign. The programme will capture an event which was not only politically iconic but also a carefully managed piece of performance art. Holbein: Eye Of The Tudors - A Culture Show Special will see Waldemar Januszczak examining the life and work of Henry VIII's court painter Hans Holbein. He was responsible for painting some of the major characters of the Tudor age and creating the famous image of the king that has survived the ages. But what were the dark secrets hidden in his art? Doctor Suzannah Lipscomb will present Hidden Killers Of The Tudor Home, which ventures into the Tudor home in search of the household killers of the era. Lipscomb will explore the consequences of the advances in exploration and science in the Tudor age and how the evolution of the home forced homebuilders to create new design solutions - some of which were lethal. The show will examine how the threat of an unpleasant death at home was never far for the Tudor people and how we still live with the legacy today. Finally, Michael Wood presents Mary Arden: A Tudor Life, which will look at what life was like for ordinary Tudor people. Whilst Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies present the glittering world of the Tudor court, this film will look at the story of one woman who was touched by new opportunities. Wood will examine the life of Mary Arden, the daughter of a one hundred acre farmer in a Warwickshire village who went on to have eight children - one of whom just happened to be William Shakespeare. Using archives, wills and diaries, Wood will uncover the story of a life which spanned one of the most dramatic periods of change in British history. He will also explore the role of a Tudor woman, from work to religion to politics. BBC4 channel editor, Cassian Harrison said: 'As BBC2 airs its landmark drama Wolf Hall and with the popularity of Hilary Mantel's novels capturing a real British appetite for this period of history, BBC2 and BBC4 are offering a complementary collection of art and history films that put the real Tudors firmly in the spotlight. This collection of programmes demonstrates how the two channels can work in a unique way to take viewers deeper into the world of the Tudors, with BBC2 celebrating the art and culture of the Tudors whilst BBC4 takes viewers deeper into the reality of what life was like in Tudor times.'

Barbara Windsor her very self will return to EastEnders to reprise the role of Peggy Mitchell for one of the soap's thirtieth anniversary specials next year. The actress - who left the drama in 2010 - said that she was 'thrilled' to be playing a part in the anniversary celebrations. The week of special episodes in February will include a thirty-minute live production. Viewers last saw Peggy make a surprise appearance in September to voice her disagreement with her son Phil's impending marriage to Sharon Rickman. Producers said that the show could not celebrate the anniversary without one of its 'most iconic characters.' 'I am absolutely thrilled that Peggy has been included in the celebrations to mark the thirtieth anniversary of EastEnders,' said Babs. 'What an incredible achievement for all the production, cast and crew, past and present.' Windsor became one of the show's most popular characters after joining EastEnders as the Queen Vic landlady in 1994. 'Barbara and Peggy are intrinsically linked with EastEnders and when we planned our explosive anniversary episodes, Peggy was the first name on our list of hoped-for returns,' said executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. 'Barbara has not only created one of EastEnders' most iconic characters but she's also hugely loved and missed by everyone here. We couldn't celebrate thirty years of EastEnders without Barbara Windsor.' Since leaving EastEnders Windsor has appeared in pantomime and presented several shows for BBC Radio 2 and made lots of adverts. It's a living, one supposes. The special 'live week' kicks off on Monday 16 February, with a live element being integrated into every episode as well as a thirty-minute fully live episode.

Anyway, now here are the next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 13 December
Question master and national treasure yer actual Stephen Fry continues the comedy quiz's exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L as he asks a range of fiendish questions on the topic of Liars & Lying in the latest episode of yer actual Qi XL - 9:00 BBC2. Joining regular panellist Alan Davies are the comedienne Sara Pascoe, who is properly fantastic and, making his long overdue début on the show, the Australian stand-up comedian and The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills. Who is, also, fantastic. And, tragically, that obnoxious lanky streak of worthless piss, Jack Whitehall. Who is a total waste of oxygen. Please, please, please producers at Qi - and, indeed, elsewhere within the BBC - stop hiring this horrible odious fraction of a man to appear in episodes of this blogger's favourite shows. He's ruddy awful. Nobody likes him. He's about as funny as a really nasty dose of genital fungus and has a reputation lower than rattlesnakes piss amongst everybody over the age of about twenty five. And, more important than any of that, I don't like him. And, as a licence fee payer, that makes yer actual Keith Telly Topping your employer. So, cut it out giving this utter twonk air-time and just make him go away. Thanks awfully in advance.
They wowed the judges at the double auditions, it says here. They survived the six-chair challenge and they made it through nine weeks of live studio rounds. Apparently. Now, the three remaining acts in The X Factor - 8:30 ITV - head to yer actual Wembley Arena to battle it out in the first part of the show's 2014 final. Sweaty bum time and all that. Viewers can also expect performances from 'some of the biggest names in the charts' across the two shows, including Madonna if rumours are to be believed. At the end of the programme, Dermot O'Dreary announces the results of the public vote and the contestant in third place is thoroughly eliminated. And, returns to the obscurity from whence they came. The result show will be shown tomorrow.

The very excellent Dominic Sandbrook concludes his excellent four-part exploration of the SF genre by considering the allure of time travel, with the power to change the past or see the future being a theme which writers and film-makers have embraced for many years in the final Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction - 9:45 BBC2. From HG Wells' pioneering scientist in The Time Machine, to Doc and Marty McFly in Back to the Future, not forgetting The Doctor's many adventures in the TARDIS, audiences have been presented with a host of colourful travellers and their machines. Featuring contributions by former Doctor Who stars national heartthrob David Tennant and yer actual Karen Gillan her very self as well as current showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, actor Christopher Lloyd and screenwriter Bob Gale, Quantum Leap star Scott Bakula and The Time Traveler's Wife author Audrey Niffenegger. The last in this thought-provoking and entertaining series.

In the latest episode of Casualty - 9:10 BBC1 - rescue teams are called to the cathedral when a ceiling collapse leaves several of the congregation trapped. The sort of thing that happens all the time, you might think. Lofty helps a patient who believes he is Jesus and Ash finally comes to terms with his feelings. Zoe catches Max spying on her and Dylan at the houseboat and is forced to confront him about their relationship, while Grace is waiting in the hospital all day and ends up clashing with Connie, leaving Zoe with a difficult decision to make. Honey reveals her big secret - what will the team make of her revelation? Drama with the Holby General emergency staff, starring Lee Mead and Patrick Robinson.

Sunday 14 December
Yer actual Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan and Clare Balding present this year's Sports Personality Of The Year ceremony live from the Hydro Arena in Glasgow - 8:00 BBC1 - where the successor to Andy Murray will be crowned. Murray himself isn't up for the award this year because, well, he's done nowt, basically. The contenders for the main prize include: Rory McIlroy, who dominated golf and won two of the year's four Majors, Lewis Hamilton, whose victories on the way to title glory saw him surpass Nigel Mansell as the British driver to have won the most Formula 1 races and Winter Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold, who claimed gold in the skeleton. The other nominees are Gareth Bale, Max Whitlock, Adam Peaty, Carl Froch, Charlotte Dujardin, Jo Pavey, plus Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans. In addition, awards will be handed out in categories such as Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Unsung Hero, and the Helen Rollason Award will be bestowed upon someone who epitomises courage and has the ability to inspire others. Subsequent programmes subject to change.

The security breach at the embassy has a number of far-reaching consequences as the fourth series of the CIA thriller Homeland continues - 9:00 Channel Four. Claire Danes, Rupert Friend and Mandy Patinkin star.

Olive Kitteridge - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - is an acclaimed two-part drama based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel telling the story of life in a New England town over the course of twenty five years through the eyes of the acerbic titular maths teacher. In the first of two parts, Olive is less than overjoyed at her husband Henry's new choice of assistant in his pharmacy, while her son Christopher grows uncomfortable with his mother's attraction to fellow teacher Jim O'Casey. Starring the great Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Peter Mullan.
With part one of the final behind them, this is the last chance for the two remaining acts to impress the public in the race to become this year's The X Factor winner - 8:00 ITV. The judges offer their nasty and spiteful comments, as usual, but the result is entirely in viewers' hands, and at the end of the programme, Dermot O'Dreary reveals which of these aspiring pop stars will walk away with the prize of a record deal. And, six months from now, the slow slide back into the same obscurity that they came from. There are also performances by more 'world-famous acts', it says here.
Monday 15 December
The hostess with the mostess yer actual Victoria Coren Mitchell her very self welcomes back another two teams as the second round of Only Connect continues - 8:30 BBC2 - with three orienteers taking on a trio of video-game enthusiasts for a place in the quarter-finals. They must use patience, lateral thinking and sheer inspiration to make connections between groups of four things that may appear at first not to be linked, with one set of clues consisting of North Korea, the State of Israel, Hells Angels and National Health Service. All things of which America does not approve, of course. Well, except for Israel.

In the best episode of Gotham so far - 9:00 Channel Five - Selina Kyle leads her new friend Bruce Wayne on a perilous journey through Gotham as she tries to evade the assassins who are on her trail. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon is reassigned to duty at Arkham Asylum following a misstep. Crime thriller based on characters from the Batman comics, starring Ben McKenzie and Camren Bicondova. And Sean Pertwee who is so seriously kick-ass in this episode that he's in serious danger of channelling his dad at several points (after one particular bout of martial arts, you will be waiting for the 'Hai!', trust me).
Get on the oche, dear blog readers, the latest Timeshift episode, Bullseyes And Beer: When Darts Hit Britain - 9:00 BBC4 - is, as you might expect from the title, about the history of darts, as it transformed from a traditional working-class pub game into a world-recognised ... pub game. The documentary is also about the role that television played in elevating competitors such as Alan Evans and Jocky Wilson into household names. With contributions from Eric Bristow, Bobby George, John Lowe and Phil Taylor. Narrated by Siobhan Finneran. That's followed by Arrows - 10:00 - John Samson's 1979 memorable documentary about the Crafty Cockney his very self Eric Bristow. Then aged twenty two, Bristow is witnessed travelling between the nation's pubs and working men's clubs playing exhibition matches and cementing his reputation as a rising star of the sport.

In Russell Brand: End the Drugs War - 9:00 BBC3 - the alleged comedian and, sometimes, thought-provoking social commentator sets out to challenge opinion that the country's drugs policy is working, and tries to find out how other countries are tackling substance abuse. Yeah. Good luck with that, mate. He witnesses the dangers of street addiction in Birmingham and meets someone who has been in and out of prison since she began taking drugs aged twelve. He also encounters Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who both surprises and frustrates Brand in equal measure with his opinions.

Tuesday 16 December
The action continues to move between the past and the present as the investigation into Oliver's disappearance finally comes to an end in the final episode of The Missing - 9:00 BBC2. Will Tony, Emily and Julien have finally found the answers to the mystery that began eight years earlier with the apparent abduction of five-year-old Oliver - and can any of their relationships ever be whole again? Impressive and highly-regarded drama, starring James Nesbitt, Frances O'Connor, Tcheky Karyo and Jason Flemyng.
A feature-length special of Charlie Brooker's dark drama series Black Mirror - 9:00 Channel Four - stars Mad Men's Jon Hamm and consists of three interwoven stories. In a mysterious and remote snowy outpost, Matt and Potter share a Christmas meal, swapping creepy tales of their earlier lives in the outside world. Matt is a charismatic American trying to bring the reserved, secretive Potter out of his shell. But are both men who they appear to be? With Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin.
Three years after he formed his first singing group from the wives and girlfriends of soldiers serving in Afghanistan, Gareth Malone sets out to form a new group to perform at a First World War centenary Prom at London's Royal Albert Hall, alongside the cast of the National Theatre's War Horse in The Choir: Military Wives - 9:00 BBC2. The Military Wives organisation now has more than eighty choirs and two thousand members around the globe, and Gareth sets out to audition as many of them as possible for his one hundred-strong ensemble and he needs to recruit the very best technical singers for what will be a taxing repertoire.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood demonstrates recipes to bake for the family this Christmas, inspired by rich traditions from all over Europe in The Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass - 8:00 BBC2. Paul kicks off the baking with St Lucia buns traditionally eaten throughout Advent in Scandinavia, and puts a twist on the traditional mince pie by making a mincemeat and marzipan couronne. Mary offers alternatives to Christmas cake and pudding by creating a fruit-filled Genoa cake and a white chocolate and stem ginger cheesecake. Paul finishes proceedings off with a show-stopping Kransekake, which is a spectacular Scandinavian tower of rings.
To mark the very convoluted anniversary of the non-release of his previously unheard début solo LP, Brian Pern's musical version of The Day Of The Triffids, the musician plans to stage the entire work, live from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with a host of special guests in the latest episode of Brian Pern: A Life In Rock - 10:00 BBC2. The groundbreaking show not only reveals the technical challenges of performing live music, but also the physical strains facing the ageing rock stars of Brian's generation. A second slice of the joyfully wicked Simon Day-fronted spoof, if you will, rockumentary sees our pompous hero desperate to finally stage his very own rock opera. But will Brian be upstaged by the other members of his erstwhile band, Thotch (Paul Whitehouse's Pat Quid and Nigel Havers' Tony Pebble)? Not likely. And what will Brian's fantastically angry manager (the great Michael Kitchen) have to say about this malarkey? Brian also has more than a few problems ensuring the confectionery stand stocks vegetarian-only Jelly Babies and then a Twitter storm erupts when a stray microphone catches him remarking about how he 'hates Blacks'. Brian of course, is referring to the outdoor clothing specialists. Roger Moore, Paul Young, Dan Snow and Tim Rice are among the guest stars. Unmissable.
Wednesday 17 December
There are now more than sixteen thousand hit-and-run incidents every year in Britain resulting in serious injury or death. For the police who pick up the pieces, bringing the guilty to justice is a test of investigative skills and resolve. The documentary Hit and Run - 9:00 ITV - narrated by yer actual Paul McGann, follows the work of officers and meets the families of victims who have lost their lives on the roads.

In The Fight For Saturday Night - 9:00 BBC4 - former chairman of the BBC Michael Grade tells a tale of skulduggery and dirty dealings as he explores how TV shows battle to win the crown for the best ratings on a Saturday night, looking at the many ways some of the most popular programmes attract viewers.
A decade after the Boxing Day tsunami, which claimed two hundred and fifty thousand lives in South East Asia, the documentary Tsunami: Ten Years After The Wave - 9:00 Sky 1 - examines the legacy of the wave and the grief and guilt that continues to haunt those who survived its terrible destruction. British survivors describe how their horrific experiences and terrible losses have shaped the rest of their lives, the gratitude they will always feel towards the people of South East Asia and how some have strived to make great good come out of their huge personal tragedies. Narrated by Andrew Wilson.

Jonathan Ross his very self hosts the annual The British Comedy Awards ceremony - 9:00 Channel Four - in its twenty fifth year, celebrating the best in British comedy. With nominees including Matt Berry, Harry Enfield, Katherine Parkinson and Graham Norton alongside nominations for shows such as the risibly unfunny The Wrong Mans, Would I Lie to You? and Monty Python Live (Mostly), viewers should expect the unexpected, the unplanned and the unruly as some of the nation's favourite stars pick up their awards.

Thursday 18 December
Apple is arguably the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that a vast number of consumers want - but how are the workers putting its highly desirable gadgetry together really treated? In Apple's Broken Promises - 9:00 BBC1 - Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6, and reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world, finding out what happens to the tin they dig out by hand.
In the feature-length concluding episode of The Fall - 9:00 BBC2 - Stella Gibson's investigation leads her to the killer's lair, but there is no sign of Rose Stagg and the detective instructs her team to step up the interviews with Katie, Sally Ann and Paul Spector in a desperate attempt to find her. However, it is only when Spector makes a final move to remain in control that Stella is offered any answers. Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan star.
Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock discuss nebulae - vast clouds of dust and gases that are more than just pretty objects, playing a key role in the birth and death of stars and therefore man's origins in the latest The Sky At Night - 7:30 BBC4. Their creation is driven by a kind of chemistry that the textbooks say shouldn't be happening.
Historian Sam Willis explores how castles came under threat from the cannon during The Wars Of The Roses, before their whole purpose was transformed in the Tudor era when some of the buildings became palaces to impress monarchs such as Elizabeth I in the final episode of Castles: Britain's Fortified History - 9:00 BBC4. However, just as they seemed to have lost their defensive function the English Civil War erupted. Sam also looks at their legacy and how they remain popular to this day.

The four MasterChef: The Professionals finalists have two hours to cook a stunning plate of food for Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace, who then send one of them home - 8:00 BBC2. The remaining three then travel to Errenteria in Northern Spain to spend two days at the world-renowned Mugaritz restaurant to work with chef Andoni Luis Aduriz and his team, before running a service at which they must cook his nine-course tasting menu for specially invited guests and the three judges.

Friday 19 December
Since it's almost Christmas, tonight we get a compilation of highlights from this year's episodes of the satirical current affairs quiz Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - in which regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton were joined by a variety of guest hosts and panellists to take on the big news stories of 2014. Those in the presenter's chair over the past few months have included Jennifer Saunders, Sue Perkins, Frank Skinner, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Damian Lewis, David Mitchell, Jack Dee and Martin Clunes.

Stephen Fry continues Qi's exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L - 10:00 BBC2 - as he lumps together a whole host of topics, from Lava Lamps To Love Handles. Joining regular panellist Alan Davies are comedy writer and actor David Mitchell, impressionist Ronni Ancona and hate-figure for the Daily Scum Mail Jimmy Carr.
Lee is worried that the woman of his dreams is drifting farther away - and admits his fears to Toby over a few drinks in the bar in the latest episode of the sitcom Not Going Out - 9:30 BBC1. Can his neighbour give him the advice he needs to win Lucy's heart once and for all? Comedy, starring Lee Mack and Hugh Dennis, with Sally Bretton and Katy Wix.

The Joy of the Bee Gees - 9:00 BBC4 - is, as you might expect, a profile of the legendary pop group, following their journey from child stars on the Australian variety circuit to becoming UK pop stars and competitors of The Beatles in the late sixties. A period, incidentally, when yer actual Keith Telly Topping considered they made most of their best - and, tragically, under-rated music. The documentary analyses the highlights of the Gibb brothers' careers, including the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, the creation of their 'medallion man' trademark look, their triumphant 1987 comeback, and their work with famed fellow performers, such as Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. Featuring interviews by Barry Gibb, John Lydon, Guy Chambers, Mykaell Riley, Alexis Petridis and Ana Matronic.
Posh tipplers Steph and Dom, hairdressers Christopher and Stephen and other favourites share their opinions on what they have been watching during the week in Googlebox - 9:00 Channel Four. The programme captures their instant reactions and lively - sometimes emotional - discussions from the comfort of their own sofas. Narrated by Caroline Aherne. Last in the current series.

The BBC has announced plans to launch its own theme park in London in 2020. Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear will be among the brands which could be featured in the project, according to the Gruniad Morning Star. BBC Worldwide has signed a deal with London Resort Company Holdings, who are behind the multi-billion-pound London Paramount Entertainment Resort in Kent, which will open in 2020. The resort will include BBC programmes and characters alongside other Paramount properties. Stephen Davies, Director of Live Events, BBC Worldwide, said: 'We're always looking for opportunities to extend fans' enjoyment of their favourite shows and the idea behind this resort is a really exciting way of celebrating the very special place the BBC has in British culture.' David Testa, Director of LRCH, added: 'We are delighted to bring the world's leading public service broadcaster on board this project. The BBC has played an instrumental role in shaping the British entertainment industry for nearly a century, creating some of the most iconic and cherished characters on TV and radio. "It seems only right therefore that its programmes will be present at the new London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which will combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture.'
The BBC's late evening TV news bulletins in the English regions are to be extended in the run-up to the General Erection in May next year. The regional programme on BBC1 after the News At Ten on Monday to Thursdays will become longer from January. The slot at 22:25 - currently lasting at least seven-and-a-half minutes - will be extended to fifteen minutes. BBC director of news James Harding said the change will allow the campaign to be followed 'ever more closely.' Harding said: 'This will be one of the most keenly contested, unpredictable and consequential elections in the history of this country and nothing will be more important to voters than the issues where they live and work.' BBC Director General Tony Hall said the 'extension of our coverage will be a vital contribution to the national debate.' The longer programme will last until after the election but during this time the lunchtime regional news bulletins will be shortened from fifteen to five minutes. The regional news bulletins in England are broadcast by BBC East, BBC East Midlands, BBC London, BBC North East, BBC North West, BBC South, BBC South East, BBC South West, BBC West, BBC West Midlands, BBC Yorkshire, and BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be announced later.

BBC3 will continue to produce new drama if it shifts online in autumn 2015. Danny Cohen - the BBC's Director of Television - has unveiled details of the corporation's proposal to transform the channel into a digital service, which has been presented to the BBC Trust for approval. 'We're still going to make drama for BBC3,' he said. 'We've been able to afford on the BBC3 budget roughly one drama a year - whether it's Being Human, In The Flesh and so on. [They were] both BAFTA winners [and] we want to keep winning BAFTAs for drama on BBC3. We've got one [drama] that we're planning that will be part of the launch year of the BBC3 digital service if we get the approval.' Though BBC3 will produce less long-form content if the proposal is approved, Cohen explained that 'features and formats' programming will bear the brunt of the cuts. 'We will be making a lot less of the shows that fill the mid-evening schedule - shows that I really like, some of which I commissioned - but in a world of tough choices, we'll focus on the comedy and the serious factual, and make less of those features and formats,' he said. 'That's where we find the savings - but our overall delivery of daily content will actually increase because we'll be making a lot more short form.' Russell Howard's Good News and Backchat featuring that odious, unfunny lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall (and his dad) are moving to BBC2 ahead of the revamp, with Cohen confirming that the fate of BBC3 shows are being decided 'on a case-by-case basis.' Quite why the odious, unfunny lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall qualifies for this promotion when he is horrible, nasty, worthless and nobody over the age of twenty five can stand the wretch is another matter entirely. 'There'll be some other things that move over in time, but we just do it on a case-by-case basis of what we think will work on the new digital BBC3 and what will work on BBC1 and BBC2', Cohen added. 'There's also some things we're going to have to stop doing - but we've focused that on the features and formats area, so that we can protect as much as possible the delivery of comedy, serious factual and news.'

The number of UK homes owning a TV set has fallen for the first time, as more people watch programmes on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Media watchdog Ofcom said TV-owning households dropped by three hundred thousand between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013, from 26.33 million to 26.02 million. Nearly one million of the homes without a TV set do have Internet access. Ofcom said this indicated a trend towards using other devices to watch catch-up programmes online.

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