This week the Beeb are ruling the waves with their Gay Britannia season, while Billy Connolly looks back on his career and the Made In Chelsea crew go on their holidays.
Man In An Orange Shirt
Monday 31st July at 9pm on BBC2 (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Because everyone with a soul likes a love story – and this is a two-for-one deal.
What is it?: It’s the BBC’s flagship drama to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.
What’s the gist?: The two-part programme features two separate (albeit cleverly linked) gay love stories, set 60 years apart – one of them during the Second World War, and the other in modern day Britain.
Who’s in it?: Oscar-owner Vanessa Redgrave, and Julian Morris from Pretty Little Liars.
Who wrote it?: Bestselling novelist Patrick Gale – it’s his screenwriting debut don’t you know.
Monday 31st July at 9pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: To test your judging skills.
What goes on?: The Accused follows a defendant during the months leading up to his trial, from police interviews to his day to day life.
Who’s been accused then?: A Polish personal banker called Lukasz, who’s been accused of nicking a heap of cash from an OAP.
Have I seen something like this before?: Yep, a few months ago they followed a mother named Kenzey, who was accused of child cruelty.
So is Lukasz guilty?: You’ll just have to wait and see…
Monday 31st July at 10pm on BBC4 (CH 107)
Why you should watch: Because it’s like a fancy highbrow play.
Is this another BBC Gay Britannia show?: You can bet your rainbow flag it is.
What’s it about?: Set in a pub, Queers features fictional LGBT people sharing their experiences, through a series of 15-minute monologues.
What era is it set in?: Each monologue is from a different era, so expect an entire century of gay British history.
Who’s in it?: A stellar cast including Ben Whishaw, Russell Tovey, Alan Cumming and Gemma Whelan.
Made In Chelsea: Ibiza
Monday 31st July at 9pm on E4 (CH 144)
Why you should watch: You probably shouldn’t, but it’s a guilty pleasure innit.
I’ve never seen Made in Chelsea before: It’s basically the same as TOWIE, but with snooty Londoners with names like Tiff and Toff.
Will this be like TOWIE’s Marbs episodes?: Yep, they’re jetting off to Ibiza for a few days of sun, sea, and slagging each other off.
In this episode: Sam’s looking for “fun”, and Victoria coerces Mark into finding his spiritual side.
Prepare yourself for: People saying “ya” a lot more than you’re used to.
Is It Safe To Be Gay In The UK?
Tuesday 1st August at 9pm on BBC2 (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Because it’s brutally honest, as all good documentaries should be.
Is it what it says on the tin?: Pretty much, it focuses on the homophobic attacks in Britain today, and the lasting effects they have on the victims.
Do we meet the victims?: Yep, there’s a gay couple that were kicked to the pavement in Brighton, a lesbian couple who were punched, and a gay man who was viciously attacked with a hammer.
Did you know: Homophobic hate crimes are on the rise…
So what’s the conclusion – is it safe in the UK?: Not really, not yet.
Celebrity Big Brother
Tuesday 1st August at 9pm on Channel 5 (CH 105)
Why you should watch: To see what people off the telly look like first thing.
Same drill?: Yep it’ll be the same Celeb BB we know and love: tasks, arguments, and celebs that don’t really want to be there, but desperately need the money.
Who’s presenting?: The sparkly-eyed Emma Willis.
Who’s in the house?: Rumoured housemates include Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding, YouTube star Trisha Paytas, and TV’s Paul Danan – not forgetting the obligatory glamour models and pretty boys.
Oh, and also: Barry off Eastenders. Woooop.
Wednesday 2nd August at 9pm on ITVBe (CH 119)
Why you should watch: Because it’s hump day, and you need some light entertainment?
What’s the gist?: It’s an Aussie reality show that follows four glamorous expecting mothers, as they prepare to give birth.
It’s a bit like: The Real Housewives, but tamer because they’re not getting plastered on pinot grigio and cabernet.
Expect: Drama, materialism, and trying to out-do one another’s baby showers.
Billy Connolly: Portrait Of A Lifetime
Saturday 5th August at 9pm on BBC2 (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Because the man’s a national treasure and it would be rude not to.
This sounds a bit special: It is, because it’s celebrating his 75th birthday, as well as 50 years in showbiz.
It all sounds a bit This Is Your Life-ish: Almost. In the programme, Billy has three separate sittings with different portrait artists, and talks about his life and career whilst they get to work.
Who are the artists?: Three Scottish pros: John Byrne, Jack Vettriano and Rachel MacLean.
Expect: Your weekly fill of hilarious anecdotes.
Secrets Of Silicon Valley
Sunday 6th August at 8pm on BBC2 (CH 102)
Why you should watch: To appease the geek in your household.
What’s it about?: In this programme we meet folk who believe that technological revolution can sort out the world’s problems.
Folk like whom?: An artificial intelligence pioneer who’s trying to replace doctors with software, the lords at Uber HQ, and a former Facebook bigwig who’s living on a remote island in fear that technology will lead to a social breakdown.
It’ll have you wondering: Whether all this innovation is all it’s cracked up to be.
Who’s presenting?: Jamie Barlett: a journo, author, blogger, and technology know-it-all.
Diana: In Her Own Words
Sunday 6th August at 8pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: Because you usually only hear other people’s words.
What’s this one about then?: Following on from ITV’s Diana, Our Mother, this documentary takes a more personal look at Diana, using – as the title suggests – her own words.
You’ll see: Never-before-seen footage of an off-duty Diana, shot by her speech coach Peter Settelen.
Who’s he then?: He’s the bloke she hired to help reinvent her public image.
When was the footage shot?: Back in 1993, when she was told to scrub up on her public voice – just two years before her famous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.