Easter TV: The best on the box this bank holiday weekend
A look ahead at the most enjoyable shows and films on TV this Easter
If Christmas seems like a distant memory and you can’t remember the last time you had a day off, an Easter sat in front of the TV could be just what you're after.
While broadcasters don’t go to town making “Easter specials”, there are a fair few new drama series and one-off shows to look out for this bank holiday weekend.
University Challenge fans can indulge in a Champion of Champions episode this Saturday to mark the show’s 50th birthday as Magdalen, Oxford goes head-to-head with Manchester University.
Top film picks include Toy Story, Trainspotting and The Graduate (see below).
Good Friday, 18 April
TV pick: Doctor Who - Farewell to Matt Smith (see above)
Natural World: Honey Badgers – Masters of Mayhem
9pm, BBC 2
Honey badgers are nature’s most fearless scrappers. They are unlikely to become wildlife superstars like meerkats, but they do have their champions – and this film follows three of them as they seek to better the critters.
7.30pm, Channel 4
Evan Williams travels to Baghdad to meet the young dancers and musicians at Iraq’s only music and ballet school, who are battling to keep their art alive against the rising tide of sectarian violence.
Peter’s investigations are taking him ever closer to the centre of power in this generally engrossing, occasionally perplexing, Norwegian-noir drama.
The Trip To Italy
Brydon and travel companion Steve Coogan visit the beach where Shelley’s body was burned by his friends in 1822.
Easter Saturday, 19 April
TV pick: University Challenge: Champion of Champions, BBC 2 (see above)
Britain’s Favourite Detectives
9.25pm, Channel 5
List shows have their place – and that place is usually on a Saturday night. This particular countdown has been voted on by Channel 5 viewers, and suspicions that discernment levels are not of the highest calibre will be confirmed if Joan Hickson’s Miss Marple doesn’t make the top five.
Joni Mitchell singing “Chelsea Morning”, Leonard Cohen duetting with Julie Felix in 1967, Pulp performing “Common People”, Soft Cell on The Oxford Road Show and John Martyn on Rock Goes to College (remember that?) are among “50 treats... in no particular order”.
Easter Sunday, 20 April
TV pick: Fargo, Channel 4 (see above)
The current series of the Inspector Morse prequel concludes with the case of a boy from a broken home who has disappeared. Morse (Shaun Evans) is, meanwhile, having second thoughts about his chosen career.
A Homeland pastiche kicks off the 25th season of the still peerless animated sitcom as Lisa is cast as Dana.
The Crimson Field
This week, Thomas is struggling with a growing attraction to Kitty, although he is having much more success on the wards with a pioneering system for the treatment of wounds.
Perspectives: the Magic of Houdini with Alan Davies
“Lifelong” Harry Houdini fan Alan Davies treads in the escapologist’s footsteps as he tries to find out how young Weisz managed to transform himself into “the world’s handcuff king”.
Bank Holiday Monday, 21 April
TV pick: Jamaica Inn, BBC 1 (see above)
Game of Thrones
9pm & 12.30am, Sky Atlantic
Crikey, that Daenerys is taking her time about claiming her birthright – too much time petting those dragons, methinks. Anyway, she chooses her champion this week, while in another of the countless storylines, Arya continues her road trip with unlikely travelling companion the Hound.
Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This
With a private life as shambolic as his magic act, Tommy Cooper (played by David Threlfall, above, with Jason Manford) was ripe for the biopic treatment, which Simon Nye delivers with an ear for Cooper’s immortal one-liners.
Amazon’s Retail Revolution: Business Boomers
Charts the fortunes of a certain online company that Jeff Bezos started in his garage 20 years ago.
The return of Ralph Fiennes as the Bishop of London, as Adam is shocked when he discovers that Nigel has reported him to the bishop for conduct unbecoming to a vicar.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
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Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food