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What to watch on TV this week

What to watch on TV this week

Here’s all the very best entertainment on your TV this week across your favourite Virgin TV channels, including the return of one of the funniest shows on telly

By Charlotte Briggs, Staff Writer + Chris Miller, Feature Writer

It’s wall-to-wall top-notch entertainment on Virgin TV this week, as groundbreaking Channel 4 comedy We Are Lady Parts returns for a second series with the band on the edge of stardom. Another show making a welcome return is Stephen Merchant’s The Outlaws, as the ex-cons try to move on with their lives, while Red Eye bows out with a gripping finale.


There’s murder and mayhem in the tropics in the US version of Mad Dogs, while Romesh Ranganathan travels to southern Africa for more misadventures. With all this and more, plus our usual sport and movie picks of the week, you’ll never be short of entertainment across your Virgin TV channels. And don’t forget, with Virgin TV Go, you can take your telly on the move with you.


There’s so much good stuff on this week that we’ve compiled a list of the best TV shows to watch. Bookmark this page to keep up to date with the latest changes.


Wednesday 22 May

Pick of the day: Deadman’s Curse

10pm, Sky History HD (CH 131)

No, this isn’t a spin-off from the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, but there’s still plenty of swashbuckling action to be had. Join four thrill-seeking adventurers, including indigenous father-and-daughter team Don Froese and Taylor Starr, as they embark on an expedition to finally solve the mystery of Slumach’s lost gold mine in the Canadian wilderness.


What else to watch:

  • Race Across The World – 9pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Secrets And Spies: A Nuclear Game – 9pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)
  • The Fortune Hotel – 9pm, ITV1 HD (CH 103)
  • The Red King – 9pm, Alibi HD (CH 114)
  • Inside No. 9 – 10pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)


Thursday 23 May

Pick of the day: A Small Light

9pm, Drama HD (CH 116)

Bel Powley (A Royal Night Out) stuns with her powerful performance as wartime hero Miep Gies, who helped hide the Frank family from the Nazis during the Second World War. Across eight episodes, the series captures the moving story of how Miep and her husband Jan (Joe Cole, Peaky Blinders) risked their lives to shelter the Franks and other Jews for 761 days in their secret annexe. Compelling viewing


What else to watch:

  • The Fortune Hotel – 9pm, ITV1 HD (CH 103)
  • Taskmaster – 9pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • The Tattooist Of Auschwitz – 9pm, Sky Showcase HD (CH 109)
  • Joe & Katherine’s Bargain Holidays – 10pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • Johnson & Knopfler’s Music Legends: Carlos Santana – 10pm, Sky Arts/HD (CH 140/123)


Friday 24 May

Pick of the day: The Nevermets

10pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)

Would you date someone you’d never met before? Well, that’s the reality for these lovers who are about to meet their online other half for the first time. This six-part series follows the couples as they get to know each other, while discovering if their virtual relationship is set to flourish or fail, away from the screen.


What else to watch:

  • Granite Harbour – 8pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Double The Money – 8pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • Sue Perkins: Lost In Thailand – 9pm, Channel 5 HD (CH 105)
  • The Young Offenders – 9.30pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show – 10pm + 10.40pm, Sky Comedy HD (CH 112)


Saturday 25 May

Pick of the day: Later… With Jools Holland

10.25pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)

From angry young post-punker raging at 70s suburbia, to elder statesman of British pop, Paul Weller has been one of the nation’s most successful musicians for more than four decades. The former Jam man joins Jools Holland at Alexandra Palace to chat about and perform songs from his latest album, 66. Another long-established British star, Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, also appears along with singer-songwriter Nadine Shah and rabble-rousing duo Bob Vylan.


What else to watch:

  • Doctor Who – 6.50pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Britain’s Got Talent – 7.30pm, ITV1 HD (CH 103)
  • D-Day: Secrets Of The Frontline Heroes – 8.20pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • Rebus – 9.25pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Radio 1’s Big Weekend: RAYE – 11.10pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)


Sunday 26 May

Pick of the day: Red Eye

9pm, ITV HD (CH 103)

This claustrophobic thriller set largely on a single flight between London and Beijing has kept us gripped for five episodes – and now it’s time to reveal all in the explosive finale. A flashback to the night of Matthew Nolan’s crash puts a new perspective on the investigation, while the sight of a familiar face brings Hana (Jing Lusi) and Madeline (Lesley Sharp) closer to identifying the culprit. All aboard and strap in for an intense ride.


What else to watch:

  • Fiennes: Return To The Wild – 8pm, National Geographic HD (CH 183)
  • The Responder – 9pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Rob And Rylan’s Grand Tour – 9pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)
  • The Piano – 9pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • Ellie Simmonds: Finding My Secret Family – 10.20pm, ITV1 HD (CH 103)


Spring Bank Holiday Monday

Pick of the day: D-Day 80: We Were There

9pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)

To mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June, veterans of the operation – some more than 100 years old – have been recalling their experiences for this special BBC film. Presenter Rachel Burden hears their stories and visits Normandy to trace their journeys, as people around the world commemorate the crucial landings and subsequent battles that changed the course of the Second World War in Europe. Look out for more D-Day programmes throughout the coming weeks.


What else to watch:

  • Clive Myrie’s Caribbean Adventure – 6.30pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)
  • Springwatch 8pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)
  • Erased: WWII Heroes Of Colour – 8pm, National Geographic HD (CH 183)
  • The Sympathizer – 9pm, Sky Showcase HD (CH 109)
  • Cumbria’s Red Squirrels – 9pm, BBC Four HD (CH 108/107)
  • Mad Dogs – 10pm, Dave HD (CH 127)


Tuesday 28 May

Pick of the day: Mad Dogs

10pm, Dave HD (CH 127)

This US remake of the darkly comic British thriller series stars the UK’s Ben Chaplin in a different role from the one he played in the original, alongside American stars Billy Zane, Steve Zahn, Michael Imperioli and Romany Malco. And after the shocking events of last night’s first episode, the group are now getting mixed up with some Swedish drug dealers as they search for the missing yacht. Mad Dogs is on Dave every weeknight at 10pm until Friday 7 June, or you can watch all episodes in On Demand.


What else to watch:

  • The Gathering – 9pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • A League Of Their Own: Mexican Road Trip – 9pm, Sky Max HD (CH 111)
  • The Pilgrimage Of Gilbert And George – 9pm, Sky Arts/HD (CH 140/123)
  • Hitler’s Handmaidens – 9pm, Sky HISTORY HD (CH 131)
  • PopMaster TV – 9pm, More4 HD (CH 147)
  • Stormy – 10pm, Channel 5 HD (CH 103)


Wednesday 29 May

Pick of the day: The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan

9pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)

Travel restrictions mean we haven’t seen much of Romesh Ranganathan’s globetrotting adventures recently, but the BAFTA-winning show is back for a fourth (if you don’t count the lockdown “From My Sofa” episodes) and final series that takes our reluctant hero to southern Africa. Forthcoming episodes will see him in Rwanda and Madagascar, but this week he’s in Uganda for white-water rafting on the Nile, wildlife spotting in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and a banana gin tasting session. But it’s not all fun times, as he also speaks to a local LGBTQ+ activist facing oppressive new legislation.


What else to watch:

  • Race Across The World: The Final – 9pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • The Gathering – 9pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • The Red King – 9pm, Alibi HD (CH 114)
  • Hold The Front Page – 9pm, Sky Max HD (CH 111)
  • Inside No. 9 – 10pm, BBC Two HD (CH 102)


Thursday 30 May

Pick of the day: We Are Lady Parts

10pm + 10.35pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 116)

Writer Nida Manzoor’s sitcom about an all-female Muslim rock band won awards and acclaim for creating characters rarely seen on TV and for poking fun at stereotypes – but also for being riotously funny, with plenty of great songs too. As the second series begins, the band are on a high after a successful summer of gigs and primed to record an album, but soon run into money troubles and also face competition from rival group Second Wife. Anjana Vasan (Killing Eve), Sarah Kameela Impey (Vera) and Juliette Motamed (Magic Mike’s Last Dance) star.


What else to watch:

  • The Outlaws – 9pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • Taskmaster9pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • The Tattooist Of Auschwitz – 9pm, Sky Showcase HD (CH 109)
  • Murdoch Mysteries – 9pm, Alibi HD (CH 114)
  • Expedition From Hell: The Lost Tapes – 9pm, Discovery HD (CH 177) 


Friday 31 May

Pick of the day: The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

9pm, Sky Max HD (CH 111)

Return to the world of The Walking Dead with this new series focusing on two of the show’s most popular characters, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). It’s set several years after the conclusion of the original series, and Rick’s still being forced to work for the Civilian Republic Military. He’s resigned to his fate – but when his squad comes under attack from a mysterious enemy, it changes everything. You can now watch all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead in On Demand with all six episodes of The Ones Who Live available from 31 May, while further spin-offs Daryl Dixon and Dead City are coming later this year.


What else to watch:

  • Smart Motorways: The Shocking Truth – 7pm, Channel 5 HD (CH 105)
  • The Twelve: Cinderella Murder – 9pm, More4 HD (CH 147)
  • The Young Offenders – 9.30pm, BBC One HD (CH 101)
  • The Nevermets – 10pm, Channel 4 HD (CH 104)
  • ITV Studio Sessions – 10.45pm, ITV1 HD (CH 103)


Pick of the week: Football – Leeds United v Southampton

Sunday 26 May, 2pm, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)

The EFL Championship play-off final has steadily increased its profile over the years to the point where it’s pretty much level with the FA Cup final for fan excitement and anticipation. This has been helped not just by the Premier League millions on offer for the winner but also by the number of classic matches the tie has produced over the years, from Charlton’s 4-4 draw with Sunderland in 1998 (Charlton won 7-6 on penalties) to Blackpool’s memorable 3-2 victory over Cardiff in 2010 to Luton’s dramatic shoot-out win against Coventry last year.


This year’s final features two clubs relegated just last season. While Leeds United have played some of the most exhilarating football in the Championship (and have the division’s outstanding player in Crysencio Summerville), they’ve been erratic too, while Southampton took the slow-and-steady route and ended up just three points behind Leeds. Both saw off their semi-final opponents with convincing home wins, and whichever wins will be confident of competing strongly in the top flight. Who will be going up?


Pick of the week: Three Thousand Years Of Longing

Friday 24 May, 9pm, Film4 HD (CH 428)

Director George Miller is best known for the Mad Max movies – including the new Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, out in cinemas this week – but in between those action epics he occasionally makes quirky movies like Babe and this grownup fairytale, based on a short story by AS Byatt. Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a no-nonsense academic attending a conference in Istanbul, is not inclined to believe her new acquaintance (Idris Elba) when he says he’s a Djinn and can grant her three wishes – but when he begins to tell the romantic story of his long and lonely imprisonment, she’s captivated. It’s an alluring tale of love and loss, with appealing performances from two of Britain’s most charismatic actors.


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