This Week’s TV Highlights: Big Brother, The Great British Bake-Off, Accused, Person of Interest, Celebrity Big Brother, The Best of Men

by Matt D

So the Olympics are all over and now I’m bombarded with potential picks for this preview unfortunately only five, or possibly six if I’m cheating, can make it in so there was no room for Russell Brand, Jack Whitehall or the Seven Dwarves but nonetheless here are the selections that did make the list.

Big Brother/Celebrity Big Brother (C5, Mon/Wed, 9pm)
It seems that Big Brother still attracts a fairly loyal fanbase who are passionate about the show and this week we have the conclusion of the civilian version and the start of the celebrity version. After ten weeks only five contestants will make it through to the final with the bookies favourite being a straight tie between former Miss India UK Deana Uppal and recently married chef Luke Anderson. Though this latest series, which ends on Monday, has had its moments I think most of us would admit that we’re looking forward more to Wednesday and the launch of the second Celebrity Big Brother to be broadcast this year. The main names being rumoured are Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman, whose American ways are bound to wind up some housemates, alongside former Eastenders actress Cheryl Fergison, comedian Julian Clary, Corrie Icon Julie Goodyear, MC Harvey and notorious journalist Samantha Brick plus a whole host of models known for their dalliances with famous men. No matter how Z-List the names are the combination of them usually causes fireworks and means that the celebrity version is a lot more entertaining than the regular run.

The Great British Bake-Off (BBC2, Tues, 8pm)
For those of you who like your reality shows a little bit more sedate then you’ll be pleased to know that the wonderful Great British Bake-Off is back for a third series. Mel and Sue return to host while the lovely Mary Berry and the sometimes harsh Paul Hollywood judge the offerings from another group of twelve amateurs. This series the standard has improved once again with the dozen contestants ranging from a 21 year old medical student to a 63 year old company director all of whom have something to prove. The three challenges in episode one include the creation of an upside down cake as well as the task of recreating Hollywood’s recipe for Rum Babas before the old showstopper challenge. As always this series is terribly middle class but a joy to watch the only let down is that the well-endowed squirrel has been removed from the opening credits, well I suppose you can’t have everything.

Accused (BBC1, Tues, 9pm)
Anybody who saw the trailers during the Olympics knows that there’s plenty of new drama on the way to BBC1 in the next few months and it kicks off with the return of Jimmy McGovern’s courtroom drama. Accused follows different characters as they await to hear their verdict in court we journey back to see what led them to be there and what they are charged with. First up is Sean Bean who is looking very different from the last time we saw him, as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, as he playes English teacher Simon who at nights becomes transvestite Tracie. After getting into a brawl at a bar Tracie is rescued by one of them, Stephen Graham’s Tony, and they share a cab together which later leads to a full-blown affair. As is always the way with Accused we know their story can’t end well but it’s always great to see how are characters ended up in court and whether or not they’ll be found guilty.

Person of Interest (C5, Tues, 10pm)
The combination of Lost and Star Trek head honcho JJ Abrams and Batman writer Jonathan, brother of Christopher, Nolan means that Person of Interest already had a lot of buzz behind it before the first episode even aired. The story sees ex-CIA agent John Reese, played by Jesus himself Jim Vaviezel, be recruited by an eccentric billionaire who wants him to stop crimes before they happen. The unique thing about Person of Interest is that Harold Finch, played by Michael Emerson who is by far the best thing about this programme, has invented a machine which lets he and Reese know who will be involved in the crime but just not if they are the victim or the perpetrator. This high-technology concept combined with lots of great action at the hands of Caviezel means that Person of Interest is a thrilling ride as well as having more to it due to the fact that Reese has gone off the grid due to the death of the love of his life. Person of Interest is definitely one of the strongest shows to debut last season in the States and thankfully, unlike a lot of the other new American shows, this one is definitely stick around for a second season.

The Best of Men (BBC2, Thurs, 9pm)
Though the Olympics are over the Paralympics are just around the corner, as anybody who has watched Channel 4 in the last six months knows, and to celebrate it BBC2 presents this one-off drama about the origins of the event. Beginning at the end of the Second World War, The Best of Men sees refugee German doctor Ludwig Guttmann arrive at a hospital in Stoke Newington to treat men with spinal injuries who are heavily sedated. Guttmann, played by the marvellous Eddie Marsan, doesn’t see this men as finished but rather as people with a future so sets about trying to inspire them by planning an athletics event. Obviously Guttmann’s ideas ruffle a few feathers along the way however Lucy Gannon’s inspiring tale should give you a different perspective of the Paralympics. Though Marsan is terrific in the lead role it is Rob Brydon as hospital joker Wynne Bowen who steals the show and it is a show that is definitely worth watching.

What do you think of my picks? Is there anything I’ve missed? Leave Your Comments Below.