Next Week’s TV Highlights: Sport Relief 2012, Touch, Hit the Road Jack, The Apprentice 2012 & South Park

Next Week’s TV: Five of the Best

Sport Relief (All Week, BBC1/BBC2)

It’s all for a good cause and that’s all you need to know really as Comic Relief’s younger sibling returns for a full on domination of Friday night. Before we get to that though there’s the little question of who will Let’s Dance for Sport Relief (Sat, BBC1, 7:10) which for my money is between Jane and Kim from Eastenders or the team of Jake from Outnumbered and Tracy Beaker but whatever happens you’ll know it will be entertaining. On Thursday at 9pm on BBC1 we go through John Bishop’s pain with him as he participates in a special triathlon which sees him go from The Eifel Tower to London accompanied briefly by tons of famous faces from Freddie Flintoff to Davina McCall. Anybody who watched the David Walliams programme last week knows what to expect here.

Finally there’s the event itself on Friday which is on BBC1 from 7pm which includes the return of Harry Judd and Chelssee Healey to the dance floor and Frank Skinner conquering his fear of water and attempting to swim the length of a local pool. Miranda Hart becomes this year’s James Corden as she performs a sketch featuring a plethora of sporting greats. At 10pm the action jumps to BBC2 for a half hour that includes Jake Humphrey hosting Never Mind the Buzzcocks and a special episode of Twenty Twelve featuring Zara Phillips. The final BBC1 segment features specials of Celebrity Juice and 8 out of 10 cats however the highlight of the night for most will be the Absolutely Fabulous special crammed with special guest stars including Kate Moss and Linford Christie. Though these events are always a bit hit and miss it’s for a good cause so get watching and donating.

Touch (Tues, Sky One, 8pm)

Anybody who’s been pining for the return of Kiefer Sutherland will be happy to know that his latest programme Touch is airing on Sky One this week. Sutherland stars as Martin Bohm who is a single father to an autistic child and has been working as an airport baggage handler to support his son ever since his wife died during the 9/11 attacks. The programme is all about using different objects to make links between people all over the globe and in Touch’s first episode it’s all about a mobile phone found by Martin while working at the airport. Throughout the course of the show we see how the phone connects a grieving Englishman, an Iraqi wannabe stand-up, an Irish call-centre worker, some Japanese schoolgirls as well as Martin himself. Touch is enjoyably silly stuff with a good premise and some interesting mysteries to be solved namely those involving Danny Glover’s wise teacher character. Sutherland is a little softer than he was in 24 but he’s still a captivating screen presence and I think anybody who enjoyed him as Jack Bauer will be similarly taken with Touch.

Hit the Road Jack (Tues, Channel 4, 10:30pm)

When watching Jack Whitehall’s stand-up at last week’s Secret Policeman’s Ball I was thinking that this young lad is priming himself for a US market with some slightly smutty material and an accent which reminded me of Eddie Izzard, a comic that has already made his mark in America. However before Whitehall gets to the States he’s first making his way around the UK and learning the customs to create both some new stand-up material and some new characters. This week he travels to Wales where he learns how to present stand-up to a traditional working-men’s club while also getting a place in a male voice choir and a cameo in welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm. It seems quite commonplace for stand-ups to get their own shows after a modicum of success however this could be fairly entertaining as it has a mixture of skits and stand-up and is only 30 minutes long. So I’m sure that least worth a watch just to see if it can be one of the funnier shows this year rather than a concept purely based around the programme’s witty title.

The Apprentice (Wed, BBC1, 9pm)

I don’t think that most of you know whether or not to watch the next series of The Apprentice and whether you do or not it will end up being the big topic of conversation at work the morning after. As we hear the familiar strains of Prokofiev and see sixteen people in business dress walking over Millennium Bridge while at the same time trying to do a serious face we know that the show has returned. As with last year Lord Sugar is offering £250,000 to invest in one of their companies and if we learnt something from last year’s winner Tom it’s that if you’ve already got a successful product you’re more likely to win the thing regardless of how you’ve previously performed. But The Apprentice isn’t all about the winning but rather seeing business sorts being ridiculed both by participating in slightly embarrassing tasks and by being given some really cheesy opening lines to use. You can read much more about the candidates and the opening episode elsewhere on this website but nothing can actually prepare you for the series other than watching it and with one of the candidates this year being called Ricky Martin you can’t say you’re not just a little bit intrigued.

South Park (Fri, Comedy Central, 10pm)

South Park is a programme that often gets over-looked in the schedules but still has a fairly strong cult following who keep up with the fourteen episodes that get produced a year. Now in its Sixteenth Season the programme continues to deal with issues that affect Americans today and in the first episode it explores the themes of the heightened security measures that people flying on planes are now subjected to but this being South Park they use the universal problem of men leaving the toilet seat up to illustrate their problem. While some people just look at South Park as a show which has kids talking about poo, and indeed people do like the sort of thing, there is always something clever in the story also to appease everyone. If you just want a laugh of a Friday night then Comedy Central is the place to go as they are airing series sixteen in double bills and if the first episode is anything to go by then this will be one of the funnier seasons in a while.

What programmes are you looking forward to this week? Leave your comments below.

This post was written by me, guest blogger Matt Donnelly!

Follow me on Twitter: @mattstvworld and read my blog mattstvworld.blogspot.com