This week in TV: evil internet trolls get their just desserts, while Katie Price gets back in the saddle for her latest reality show. There may also be a horror story from the early days of America…
The Big Fat Quiz Of Everything
Monday 15th August at 9pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: The “Big Fat Quiz” remit has been somewhat expanded to include “100,000 years of human history”, as Jimmy Carr puts it.
Sample subjects: Politics, literature, art, and things Alanis Morissette thought were ironic.
Sample chuckle-mongers: David Mitchell, Bob Mortimer, Mel Giedroyc, and the ubiquitous Winkleman are among those firing off zingers.
Unexpected dance lesson of the week: People from Strictly will be here to put panellists through their paces.
Look out for: First Dates smoothie Fred Sirieix will be popping by for Champagne, because why not?
One Punch Killers
Monday 15th August at 10pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: It’s not every day you get a documentary on brutal crimes presented by a poet.
A poet?: Yep, Aaron Roach Bridgeman, whose rough background means he’s been in a few scrapes himself.
Grimly Ronseal-like title alert: This literally is about people who’ve died after being punched just once by their assailant.
Must-see scene: When the mother of a victim comes face to face with her son’s killer to see if she can forgive him.
Quote of the day: “Whether it’s a gun or a fist, it’s a life.”
Kate Humble: My Welsh Sheepdog’s Tale
Monday 15th August at 9pm on BBC Two (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Because we’re running out of Welsh sheepdogs, and only Kate Humble can save us! (Yes, really.)
What’s the gist?: The effortlessly likeable broadcaster is seeking to increase the dwindling Welsh sheepdog population by breeding more from her pet pooch, Teg.
Is it a dog’s life?: Yes, especially when Teg has to be assessed for her herding abilities. Sheesh.
What to say: “The cutest animal-related action this side of YouTube.”
What not to say: “Pah, if the dog doesn’t play the piano while headbutting a live lobster like in that YouTube vid, I ain’t interested.”
Skies Above Britain
Wednesday 17th August at 9pm on BBC Two (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Because you had no idea just how much STUFF was happening above our heads all the time, and it’s unexpectedly fascinating.
So it’s not as dull as the title makes it sound, then?: No.
Paging Mulder and Scully: We’ll see how air traffic controllers respond to a UFO that enters Gatwick air space.
Paging Michael Buerk: It’ll go all 999 when a search and rescue helicopter whizzes off to pluck an injured hiker from a mountain.
Weirdly unnerving trivia tidbit: The director of an air traffic centre confesses that he places a lot of faith in a gilt cherub that hangs from the ceiling.
Celeb Trolls: We’re Coming to Get You
Thursday 18th August at 10pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: It’s going to be delicious to see skulking Internet low-lifes tracked down and shamed for their outrageously offensive behaviour.
Who’s on the case?: Frankie Bridge from the Saturdays, who’s been on the receiving end of online abuse herself, works with IT experts to hunt the trolls.
Most rage-inducing moment: Turns out the mother of Jamie Bulger has even been targeted by trolls. What is wrong with humans?
Also victimised: Former X Factor reject Chris Maloney. Like he needs any more stick.
What to do straight after: Renounce all social media permanently. Or at least for the evening.
Katie Price’s Pony Club
Thursday 18th August at 9pm on TLC (CH 167)
Why you should watch: Because it’s a “brilliant horsey romp”, to quote one of the TV channel’s bigwigs. And who doesn’t like a brilliant horsey romp?
What’s actually going on?: Katie will be teaching two of her own kids, along with some other young ‘uns, about the finer points of horse riding. Including dressage.
What even is dressage?: Nobody on Earth knows.
Horse riding documentary or reality show?: Looks like a bit of both.
Katie Price factoid: The show is set on her estate, which features five horses, four dogs, three pigs, and around 100 birds.
Secrets Of A Police Marksman
Thursday 18th August at 10pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: A small army of armed coppers are currently being deployed across the UK, so this documentary couldn’t be more timely if it tried.
Who’s the marksman?: A firearms officer called Tony Long, who has killed three people during the course of his career.
Shocking revelatory moment: Long talks about how the last person he shot earnt him a murder charge.
Other highlight: The confessions of an ex-armed robber talking about the grim and gritty 1970s.
Possible side-effect of watching: You might just want to hole up in your house for the foreseeable future. It’s dangerous out there.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds At Hurricane Festival
Saturday 20th August at 9pm on Sky Arts (CH 167)
Why you should watch: ‘Cos we’re all still mad fer Noel, after all these years.
What’s the Hurricane Festival?: A three-day German extravaganza. Think Glasto with a different accent.
Tracks to look forward to: Dream On, Riverman and some obligatory Oasis tracks, including Don’t Look Back in Anger.
What to say: “A reminder to serious musos that there’s more to Noel than his Britpop heyday.”
What not to say: “Yes but is it as good a follow-up band as Paul McCartney’s Wings?”
Sunday 21st August at 10pm on BBC Two (CH 102)
Why you should watch: It’s the much-hyped, filthy-as-hell sitcom starring Britain’s answer to Lena Dunham.
Who is this woman?: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who plays a character who’s a bit like Miranda, only with the goofiness replaced by acid-tongued existential dread.
What happens?: Catastrophic flings, drunkenness, poverty, awkward party mishaps, and unspeakable use of a Barack Obama news clip.
Look out for: Olivia Colman, being brilliant as always.
Zeitgeist rating: 10/10 will sum up Britain in the twenty-teens.
Jamestown’s Dark Winter: Secrets Of The Dead
Sunday 21st August at 10pm on PBS America (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s a story of vicious murder and possible cannibalism in the Americas. Oh yes.
In other words: Think Time Team, only with vicious murder and possible cannibalism.
What’s the background?: Apparently, the early English settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, faced starving to death in winter, and may have made the ultimate, unthinkable decision…
What to say: “A gruesome detective story which reveals just what the colonists had to go through.”
What not to say: “This has put me right off my dinner.”
Recommended for you