TV guide: 25 of the best shows to watch this week

Jim Carrey returns as children’s entertainer Mr Pickles in Kidding while David Gray features in an Other Voices one-off special

Kidding starring Jim Carrey returns to Sky Comedy on Tuesday

Kidding starring Jim Carrey returns to Sky Comedy on Tuesday


Burnt By the Sun
Monday, RTE1, 9.35pm
Irish people share their stories of buying property abroad during the boom Celtic Tiger times and the problems they have faced since. The programme reveals how some buyers are still struggling to escape what became a nightmare, others are resigned to the ongoing cost of their investment and many continue to try to recoup their losses.

Monday, BBC1, 9pm
The remaining 16 contestants are split into two groups as they compete for the chance of their first taste of working in a professional kitchen. The first eight cook a dish for John Torode and Gregg Wallace, with the best five heading to Da Terra in east London to work under chef Rafael Cagali. During a busy lunch service, the amateurs will be entirely responsible for serving the restaurant’s menu to paying customers. Will any buckle under the intense pressure as they cook in a demanding new environment?

Putin: A Russian Spy Story
Monday, C4, 9pm
The second instalment of the documentary looks at how Vladimir Putin arrived in the Kremlin as a vulnerable and unknown president, whom the Russian oligarchs expect to control. The programme reveals how he asserted his hold on power and ultimately surrounded himself with his KGB peers, as well as his philosophy as regards traitors and enemies. The film also examines the stories of businessman Boris Berezovsky and defector Alexander Litvinenko, who both stood up to Putin and wound up dead on British soil.

The Real Michael Jackson
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
Jacques Peretti is no stranger to the life of Michael Jackson – he has already made three documentaries about the self-styled King of Pop. Now, more than 10 years on from the singer’s death, Peretti is returning to the subject to take another look at Jackson’s life and legacy, and the accusations and controversies that continue to surround him in the wake of last year’s hard-hitting documentary Leaving Neverland. Peretti’s latest film takes a closer look at each stage of the star’s life in a bid to understand his complex character. It’s a story that takes in his early years with the Jackson 5, his relationship with the media, his retreat to the Neverland ranch and the final days he spent preparing for the This Is It concerts.

Scandal & Beauty: Mark Gatiss on Aubrey Beardsley
Monday, BBC4, 9pm
Artist Aubrey Beardsley, who died in 1898 at the age of just 25, managed to achieve a lot in his short life, including a great deal of notoriety. But in this documentary, Mark Gatiss argues that he deserves to be known for more than just the outrage he caused, and that he was also a technological innovator whose attitudes still feel remarkably modern. The presenter also suggests that the key to understanding the artist lies in a childhood diagnosis of tuberculosis which left him with the knowledge that he was likely to die young.

Tuesday, Sky Comedy, 9pm
It’s the year 2000. The World Trade Center is still standing. Smartphones are non-existent. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube haven’t yet been invented. And Bill Clinton is still the prez. Into this strange, prehistoric world arrive Maya and Anna, two awkward 13-year-olds trying to fit into middle school, and ending up looking like the squarest of pegs. This millennial comedy makes its debut on this side of the Atlantic, so we can marvel at how two grown-up actors, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, have transformed into dorky teens. And we thought Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke transforming into Kevin and Perry was impressive. And the title? Well, scribble it badly on your hand and you’ll get the picture.

Tuesday, Sky Comedy, 9.35pm
Jim Carrey returns as beloved children’s entertainer Mr Pickles in the second series of the US comedy series, which explores what happens when a popular kids’ TV star finds the very adult issues of his own life encroaching into the fantasy world he has carefully created for his viewers. As season two opens, Jeff Pickles is dealing with the fallout from the implosion of his family. His long-running TV show, Mr Pickles’ Puppet Time, is off the air, and Jeff’s sanity is looking like being cancelled too. Luckily, he’s found another way to keep in touch with his huge fanbase – but is this just going to bring more problems down over his head? Expect more manic energy and gurning from Carrey, ably supported by Frank Langella, Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, Cole Allen and Juliet Morris.

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer
Tuesday, Channel 4, 8pm
James Blunt, Alison Hammond, Alex Jones and Joe Sugg take part in the charity culinary challenge, under the watchful eye of presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. For the signature round, they must prepare a batch of decorated traybakes, while the technical challenge involves a classic British staple. Finally, for the Showstopper, they must create a scene out of biscuits depicting what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Five Guys a Week
Tuesday, Channel 4, 9.15pm
Glamorous, fun-loving 68-year-old Susan lost her husband eight years ago, but now she’s ready to date again – and would ideally like to find someone to celebrate her 69th birthday with. So, she’s picked five men aged between 60 and 67 to move into her house for a week, and they have very different approaches to winning her heart. While former entrepreneur Adrian hopes to woo her with his baking skills, new-age vegan Theo plans to convert her to the joys of tantric massage.

The Windsors
Channel 4, 10.15pm
The third series of the royal sitcom comes to a climax with a visit from Donald Trump, who invites Charles and Camilla to abandon England and become king and queen of America – but Wills suspect there is a sinister agenda behind the offer. Harry offers Pippa a job as his children’s nanny, and Meghan makes a speech at the UN – but is persuaded to deliver it in Mandarin. Beatrice is disappointed that recent revelations will stop her father walking her down the aisle – but her mother is more than happy to step in. Last in the series.

Save Me
From Wednesday, Sky Atlantic
Lennie James and Suranne Jones star in the second season of this dark drama about a desperate father on a frantic, so far fruitless search for his missing daughter. It’s been 14 months since Nelson “Nelly” Rowe found his search for daughter Jody coming to a dead end. He’s been through hell - and even worse places - and now he’s wondering if he has the strength to keep on looking, even if new evidence emerged that might give a clue to Jody’s whereabouts.

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Spycam Sex Criminals
BBC3, from Wednesday, 6am
Pornography is illegal in South Korea, driving the creation of such images underground. As a result, a dark craze known as ‘molka’ has arisen, which uses secretly collected films and photographs of women at their most vulnerable during intimate moments. In her latest investigative report, Dooley visits the country to learn more about this cruel and humiliating crime; she discovers that developments in technology mean that cameras can be as small as pinheads, allowing them to be easily hidden in changing rooms and toilet cubicles. Dooley meets both victims and perpetrators, and also learns about one young woman who took her own life shortly before her wedding due to a colleague’s video of her taking a shower.

The Repair Shop
Wednesday, BBC1, 8pm
Jay Blades and the team bring four treasured family heirlooms back to life. Alan Reed from Warwick hopes upholstery expert Hannah Weston Smith can restore his little piece of history, a leather armchair that belonged to his grandparents, while Steve Kember and Will Kirk take a look at Polyphon music box. Elsewhere, a faded portrait with a touching history, and a shattered stained glass door panel are also restored back to their former glory by experts Lucia Scalisi and Matt Nickels.

Growing Up Gifted
Wednesday, BBC2, 9pm
Part two of two. The conclusion of the documentary follows three gifted teenage girls, Anne Marie, Jada and Shakira, as they make decisions about their futures. In Port Talbot, Anne Marie is more settled after moving in with her best friend, but isolation from her family and nerves about her exams are starting to trouble her. Meanwhile, Jada prepares for her A Levels at grammar school, and Tamworth-based Shakira has got to make up lost ground if she is to achieve the high grades her teachers have predicted.

Mister Winner
Wednesday, BBC2, 10pm
According to Shane Allen, the BBC boss who commissioned this sitcom following a successful pilot, Mr Winner is “a broad appeal comedy with heart, physical set pieces and lots of accidents. Audiences seem to really enjoy watching people have accidents!” And although Allen couldn’t have known it when he ordered the series, it seems that viewers who might not normally have classed themselves as slapstick fans could be in the mood for something a little more lighthearted. There’s certainly plenty of scope for chaos in this second episode, as one of Chris’ (Shaun Williamson) painters calls in sick and he reluctantly allows Leslie (Spencer Jones) to take on a decorating job. Just how much trouble can Mr Winner get in while only painting two walls and a hallway?

Other Voices: David Gray Special
Thursday, RTE Two, 11.30pm
David Gray has had to postpone his White Ladder 20th anniversary tour due to coronavirus, but there’s a telly treat in store on Thursday night for his Irish fans, with this Other Voices one-off special featuring the singer-songwriter performing an intimate show at St Michael’s Church in Ballina. White Ladder remains the biggest-selling album in Irish chart history, but there’s no sign that we’re sick of it yet, and Grey is sure to perform many classic tracks from that record. Settle down with the telly volume up loud and get a little healing for the soul during self-isolation.

Elton John in His Own Words
Thursday, RTE1, 11.15pm 
As Elton John enjoys a break from his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, he talks to Graham Norton about his life and career, which spans more than 50 years. The singer discusses his childhood growing up as Reg Dwight in post-war Pinner, Middlesex, and looks back at his rise to global stardom in the 1970s. He also shares musical memories of the 1980s and 1990s, discusses his addictions, and how he managed to overcome them to become one of the world's most successful and prolific solo artists.

Noughts + Crosses
Thursday, BBC 1, 8pm
The McGregors receives devastating news that rocks their family, while Kamal is inaugurated as prime minister and tightens racial laws across Albion – all the while battling to keep his personal secrets in the past. Sephy desperately tries to get through to Callum, but he is being pulled further and further into the Liberation Militia. Jude wants his brother to listen to Dorn – he is the one who is making a difference. As Callum takes matters into his own hands, Meggie introduces the Hadleys to someone who makes Sephy question everything she has ever known.

Born to Be Different
Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm
The second of two documentaries catching up with the individuals as they tackle the reality of leaving home and going it alone. Emily is working the hospital wards as part of her course, and although she is doing great, her disability is throwing up some challenges. Zoe is struggling with her law degree. Although she is giving it her all, she is not sure that university is for her after all. However, things are much more serious for William and Shelbie, whose futures remain uncertain as their families battle to keep them alive.

Have I Got News for You
Friday, BBC1, 9pm
The satirical show celebrates its 30th birthday in September. It’s also now 18 years since it lost its permanent host, Angus Deayton, and moved to the guest presenter format and nearly nine years since it won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards. So, it’s definitely a show that’s built to last, which is maybe why we shouldn’t be too surprised that despite everything that’s going on right now, HIGNFY is returning for its 59th series. There won’t be a studio audience for this first episode, but it’s planned that there will be presenter Steph McGovern, guest panellists in the form of journalist Helen Lewis and comedian Miles Jupp and, of course, team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.

The Mash Report
Friday, BBC2, 10pm
It’s been an extraordinary year so far, to say the least, but while there’s been no shortage of news, some viewers may be wondering whether it’s really a good time for topical comedy. However, the nation’s satirists seem determined to take on the headlines, as not only is Have I Got News for You due to return tonight, but The Mash Report is coming back too. Nish Kumar and his team of correspondents, including Steve N Allen and Ellie Taylor, will be offering their unique take on the week’s events, although given the circumstances, it seems highly unlikely that there will be a studio audience on hand. We’ll have to tune in to find out whether that makes Nish a little less shouty.

Home Before Dark
Apple TV+, from Friday
Sometimes less is more. Just ask Apple’s TV division. Rather than churning out original content, it has so far been careful to only produce top quality programmes, which is why we’re rather excited about this 10-part mystery thriller. The premise initially sounds a little bit Nancy Drew-like, but incredibly, it’s inspired by a true story. Brooklynn Prince – a star in the making if ever there was one – plays nine-year-old Hilde, who wants to be a journalist, just like her dad. After her family swaps New York for the small town where her father grew up, Hilde discovers that his best friend disappeared when they were children, and was never seen again. Hilde decides to investigate, uncovering secrets and lies in the process. A second season has already been commissioned.

Tales from the Loop
Amazon Prime, from Friday
Simon Stalenhag’s narrative art book (not to be confused with comic-books or graphic novels, this is a tome full of large-scale astonishing pictures but little text; the images tell the story as much as the words) has already inspired a popular role-playing game and now it’s the basis for this offbeat sci-fi adventure drama. The book has been compared to 1980s-set films and TV shows such as ET, Stranger Things and The Goonies, so fortysomethings can expect a nostalgia-fest of sorts. The story takes place in a town built above ‘the loop’, a machine capable of unlocking and exploring the mysteries of the universe, in the process opening up whole new worlds beyond the realms of our imagination. Rebecca Hall, Jonathan Pryce and Tyler Barnhardt head the cast.

Money Heist
Netflix, from Friday
The Spanish crime series – also known as Le Casa de Papel – is back for its fourth run. It picks up where its predecessor left off, with the Professor believing that his girlfriend and collaborator Lisbon has been executed. Nairobi’s life is also hanging in the balance and Rio and Tokyo have made the audacious decision to blow up an army tank. Few storyline details have been released so far, but what we do know is that the gang is about to face the toughest period of its existence, while an enemy within its ranks is going to put their latest job in serious jeopardy. Raquel is certainly one to keep a close eye on as the plot develops. Alvaro Morte, Itziar Ituno, Ursula Corbero and Miguel Herran all return to the cast.

Coffee & Kareem
Netflix, from Friday
We’ve seen plenty of buddy-cop movies over the years, but this knockabout comedy is a little different as the detectives at its heart are Detroit detective James Coffee and his prospective stepson, 11-year-old Kareem. The youngster is horrified when he discovers his single mother Vanessa is dating a seemingly hapless police officer, so he tries to break them up. Kareem devises the idea of hiring criminals to scare Coffee off, but it backfires, putting the family in grave danger. To prevent a tragedy, Coffee and Kareem are reluctantly forced to team up to bring the villains to justice. Ed Helms, Taraji P Henson, Betty Gilpin and the delightfully named Terrence Little Gardenhigh head the cast.

Additional previews: PA