Weekend Television

The weekend is here at long last! Better yet, it’s a long one! Bank Holiday weekends are a rare treat and should be utilised to their maximum. Of course, that means having the good intention to do something really cool and different but in reality, splitting your time up between drinking heavily and watching television.

With that, here’s the best shows of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Tonight: UEFA Super Cup, ITV1, 7:30pm

Champions League winners Barcelona play an almost insignificant match against Shakhtar Donetsk, winners of the last-ever Uefa Cup. However, if Barca are in the mood, then it’ll be worth tuning in as their forward line is enough to make a defender weep for eternity. Could be fun.

Tonight: Keep on Running: 50 Years of Island Records, BBC Four, 10:40pm

A repeat, but one worth catching if you missed it. In short, this is a superb documentary highlighting and celebrating the brilliant Island Records. Musical kicks come from Nick Drake, Free, Bob Marley, John Martyn, Roxy Music… and for those who aren’t record collector types, U2 and Sugababes also appear. Some vintage performances precede the show in Island at the BBC at 9:35pm.

Tomorrow: Rugby League: Challenge Cup Final, BBC One, 2:10pm

Warrington take on Huddersfield in a sport that is as quick as it is brutal. Clare Balding introduces live coverage from Wembley. Commentary comes from Dave Woods and Jonathan Davies. Ball is shaped like an egg.

Tomorrow: Total Wipeout: Champion of Champions, BBC One, 6:30pm

Richard Hammond still won’t give Jon Bon Jovi his hair back as he giggles at people falling in water and getting hit in the genitals by various objects. It’s A Knockout for the Noughties.

Tomorrow: The X Factor, ITV1, 7pm

You surely know how this works by now? People sing in front of the assembled judges… except this time, a big ol’ audience too. Apparently, it’s Cheryl’s birthday too, which means she’ll probably cry at some insipid rendition ofa Whitney Houston ballad.

Sunday: Formula 1: The Belgian Grand Prix Sunday, BBC One, 12:10pm

Cars go round a track and hopefully, no-one gets killed or maimed. Alternatively, everyone watches in the hope that someone gets killed or maimed. You’re a fickle bunch. Jake Humphrey presents.

Sunday: A Night at the Office, BBC Two, 9pm

For no reason BBC Two will be showing all six episodes of that first series of The Office. There are also contributions from some famous fans like Ben Stiller and Matthew Perry.

Monday: Caribbean Food Made Easy, BBC Two, 8:30pm

Levi Roots presents what might just be the finest cookery show aired in aeons. A long overdue look at Caribbean food served up in an accessible and very pleasing manner indeed. You will love this show, provided you have a working heart and stomach.

It’s the weekend! Hurray for that! It’s been a bit of a slow week in terms of TV news and there’s not been much in the way of new shows. Still, relentlessly we watched because a repeat of QI on Dave is still better than reading a rubbish book. I mean, books don’t even have theme tunes or glittering staircases do they? If they do, you have to imagine them! What’s with that?

Anyway, the weekend is upon us and if you’re skint or have nothing planned, it’s fair to assume that you’ll spend most of it slumped in front of the box, channel hopping. To ease your load slightly, let us pick out the best of the weekend listings for you.

Tonight: Coronation Street, ITV1, 7:30pm

It’s a soap wedding night! Soap weddings are always a big occasion… so much so that Steve and Becky, tonights blushers, have already had one attempt. Of course, it failed. Corrie fans will also be thrilled to learn that Jim, Andy and Liz all attend the McDonald wedding. Of course, someone will need to drop flies in the ointment…

Tomorrow: ER, Channel 4, 7:15pm

A double bill of incredibly long medical words and serious acting. William H Macy returns as Dr David Morgenstern, which is always nice. Cherish ER whilst it is on… it’s nearly at an end for good.

Tomorrow: Match of the Day, BBC One, 10pm

Yes! Highlight of the weekend! Gary Lineker presents all the highlights from the first day of the new Premier League season! Better yet is that MOTD is immediately followed by The Football League Show… not to mention MOTD2 on Sunday night. Weekends are now a footballing orgy and it’s wonderful!

Sunday: Jam and Jerusalem, BBC One, 8pm

BBC rural comedy shows tend to be a bit pedestrian and this is no different. It’s a pleasant enough way to see out the weekend I suppose.

Sunday: Single-Handed, ITV1, 9pm
Conclusion of the police drama which sees Sergeant Jack Driscoll unwittingly stumbling into his old flame, Detective Maura Dooley. Things are uncovered and plots thicken before unravelling!

It’s the weekend and, despite the fact you think you’re really cool and have a bursting diary of ace things to do, the reality is that you’ll invariably look out of the window and think that it’s all a bit too much effort and that really, the best thing to do is to ignore your mobile phone and slump in front of the television all weekend, gathering crumbs in the folds of your clothes.

Don’t fight it – embrace it. With that, let’s have a look at the best of the weekend listings so you don’t end up watching a faded sports star cutting up a giant sausage on Beat The Star by accident again.

Tonight: The Russians Are Coming (Channel 4, Friday, 7 August, 7:30pm)

Duck and cover? Nope. Rather, listen and be interested. You see, what we have here is a programme about a woman called Dina Karpova and she helps Russian billionaires get their children into English public schools. As such, we get to see kids being sent off to mind bogglingly weird induction weekends which not only shows Russians the weird world of the toff, but also, it allows us to gawp at it.

Tonight: BBC Proms 2009: Knussen Conducts Knussen (BBC Four, Friday, 7 August, 7:30pm)

Okay. This is pretty straightforward. Classical music, played live. If you’re into This Sort Of Thing, then you’ll know what you’re signing up for. If you don’t, you’re probably thinking you’ll give it a miss.

Tomorrow: Football Focus (BBC One, Saturday, 8 August, 12:15pm)

Hurray! Football is back! The 2009/10 Football League season kicks off and Newcastle face a visit to West Brom, which is shown live later on BBC One. Of course, Football Focus will be looking at the new season and talking endlessly about it and for footy fans, it’ll come as a great relief after a footyless summer.

Tomorrow: Lee Evans: XL Tour (Channel 4, Saturday, 8 August, 10:20pm)

Watch, as a man takes sweating to a whole new level as he falls over and climbs on things and tells jokes.

Sunday: Rivers with Griff Rhys Jones (BBC One, Sunday, 9 August, 9pm)

Griff Rhys Jones explores some rivers. Notably, he follows the Severn from its source in the Welsh hills to the estuary 200 miles later. He does the same with the Wye. BBC whimsy at its best.

Sunday: Louis Theroux – The City Addicted to Crystal Meth (BBC Two, Sunday, 9 August, 9pm)

Documentary in which Louis visits Fresno in California’s Central Valley to look at how crystal meth addiction is making an impact on the local community. He experiences the reality of meth abuse, not literally, but rather, by visiting the homes of addicts to see them take hit after hit. It’ll be interesting and engaging stuff, no doubt, but will also serve to remind us that Theroux used to be really funny and that he might want to think about doing something a little more lighthearted next time.


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