Monday 28th November at 10pm on Discovery (CH 250)
Why you should watch: Back for a new run, this series about cars being transformed into custom dream machines is pure petrolhead heaven.
The one thing more impressive than the cars: Dave Kindig’s beard.
Who or what is Dave Kindig?: A man who could turn a Vauxhall Corsa into something Dick Dastardly would drive.
First up: A rare 1952 Pontiac that needs pimpin’. As if the very fact it’s a rare 1952 Pontiac isn’t cool enough.
Watch if you like: Fat N’ Furious, Classic Car Rescue, and Wacky Races.
MPs: Behind Closed Doors
Monday 28th November at 9pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: Because this fascinating, behind the scenes look at the life of MPs might actually make you feel sorry for them. Imagine that.
Who are the MPs?: Labour’s Naz Shah, Lib Dem bigwig Nick Clegg, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Toriest-looking Tory who’s ever lived.
Who does Jacob Rees-Mogg look like?: That skinny bespectacled lawyer man from The Simpsons, that’s who.
What to say: “A genuinely revelatory glimpse at what the everyday, unglamorous work of politicians entails.”
What not to say: “There’s nowhere near as many sleazy affairs and sinister Illuminati rituals as I was expecting.”
Storyville: The Cult That Stole Children
Tuesday 29th November at 9pm on BBC Four (CH 107)
Why you should watch: This shocking documentary tells the story of a cult leader unlike most others.
How so?: She was a woman.
Who was she?: Anne Hamilton-Byrne, an Australian yoga teacher and New Age type who believed herself to be a reincarnation of Jesus.
What did the cult do?: All kinds of sinister things, including bogus adoptions of numerous kids who were brainwashed with drugs.
Bizarre trivia factoid: It’s been speculated that Wikileaks supremo Julian Assange was one of the kids in the cult.
Tuesday 29th November at 9pm on BBC One (CH 101)
Why you should watch: The frightening true-life story of serial killer John Christie is brought to life in this atmospheric new drama.
Best unrecognisable star turn of the year: Yes, that bald middle-aged man really is Tim Roth.
Christie in a nutshell: A creepy, prissy office nobody who murdered a series of women in the bleak post-war years.
Remake alert: This tale was previously told in the movie 10 Rillington Place, starring Richard Attenborough as the crazed Christie.
Bonus reason to watch: Samantha Morton, who is reliably brilliant in everything she’s in.
The Boy Who Can’t Stay Awake
Tuesday 29th November at 10pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: It’s a cornucopia of medical mysteries that would even have Gregory House MD scratching his head.
Example mystery: Why does teenage footballer Carew fall asleep for days at a time?
Also: We’ll meet Seanin, who’s 23 but has to live like a pensioner due to strange, inexplicable seizures.
May contain allergens: The programme also features a woman who appears to be allergic to almost everything.
Best watched by: Hypochondriacs who always Google their symptoms, because this will make your petty concerns seem very silly by comparison.
The Sikhs Of Smethwick
Thursday 1st December at 9pm on BBC Four (CH 107)
Why you should watch: This unique and rather wonderful film tells the story of Sikh immigration to Blighty, from the 1950s to now.
What’s the gist?: Combining historic footage with contemporary film, it charts an odyssey from farms in India to factors in Britain’s Black Country.
Who’s behind the camera?: Filmmaker Billy Dosanjh, whose intriguing CV includes a film called Siberia’s Next Supermodels.
What to say: “Full of colourful sights and sounds, this is a kaleidoscopic saga of migration and cultural mingling.”
What not to say?: “Smethwick sounds like somewhere Hobbits might live.”
Too Young To Die: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Thursday 1st December at 9pm on Sky Arts (CH 122)
Why you should watch: Film buffs will relish this celebration of one of the best actors of our times.
Why serious movie lovers know him: He’s the Oscar-winning star of films like Capote, The Master and Magnolia.
Why everyone else knows him: The Hunger Games.
What happened to him?: He died from a drug overdose at the peak of his career, shocking fans the world over.
Unlikely trivia tidbit: Hoffman once met jazz icon Miles Davis while he was working as a lifeguard.
Alan Carr’s Happy Hour
Friday 2nd December at 8pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: Because it’ll be interesting to see if the unstoppably cheeky Alan Carr can behave himself before the watershed.
What’s the gist?: Slapstick games, silly hi-jinks, and Alan making celebrities squirm in his inimitable way.
Sample celebs: Comedy star Rebel Wilson, quip-monger Jack Whitehall, and Bastille.
What’s Bastille?: A band, you old fogey.
Will there be 2-for-1 cocktails?: It’s not LITERALLY a happy hour.
Sunday 4th December at 9pm on Yesterday (CH 107)
Why you should watch: Because this isn’t just another documentary about Hitler.
What makes it different?: It’s about how Europe dealt with the immediate aftermath of the war.
So, Nuremberg Trials?: Yep, but it also looks at the sectioning off of Berlin, and the founding of the United Nations.
Watch if you like: Serious documentaries about World War Two.
Don’t watch if you like: Not-so-serious documentaries about occult Nazis, secret Himmler temples and Hitler’s missing genitalia.
The Rise And Fall Of El Chapo
Sunday 4th December at 9pm on History (CH 102)
Why you should watch: It’s the inside story of billionaire drug lord Joaquin Guzman.
Why “El Chapo”?: It means “shorty”, on account of his diminutive stature. Best not joke about that to his face.
Is he basically like Pablo Escobar?: He’s out-Escobared Escobar. That’s how much of a big deal kingpin he is.
What they say: “The most ruthless, dangerous, and feared man on the planet”.
What we say: “Gulp.”
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