A brilliant adaptation by Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor of John le Carré’s 1970 novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
During the cold war and after a disastrous operation in Budapest, the head of British intelligence, Control (John Hurt), steps down, convinced that one of the four lead roles in the operation is in actual fact a Russian mole. After a year in semi-retirement, ex-spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought back into the Cabinet Office on information that there is a Soviet Spy.
At an unsettling time for the British Secret Service, it falls to Smiley to uncover the mole.
Without the glamorous Bond style action we associate with a good spy movie, this film is clever and will have you at the edge of your seat as the mystery unfolds.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy – tonight on More4 at 9pm.
As a nation we have become slightly obsessed with the idea of spying on our neighbours and taking a sneak-peek through the keyhole into the world of the wealthy.
With the end of the year fast approaching, it is the time once again to explore some of Britain’s most cutting-edge home design with presenter, Kevin McCloud – offering us a perfect excuse to sit back and be taken on a tour of our dream homes, of course allowing for our own critique “I wouldn’t have put the window there…”
Run in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects, the four-part series will showcase the breathtaking designs of those in the running for such a prestigious prize.
Joined by Damion Burrows and Zac Monro, the first episode takes Kevin to five beautiful country houses including a hidden hillside home, a lovingly restored Wiltshire country retreat and a spectacular example of Californian contemporary design in Cornwall – Kevin will then reveal which of these homes will make the final shortlist.
Grand Designs: House of the Year – Thursdays at 9pm on Channel 4
In 1956 Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), stepping foot on English soil for the first time, begins filming for her leading role in Sir Laurence Olivier’s (Kenneth Branagh) latest production, The Prince and the Showgirl.
The captivating star – young, beautiful and totally outrageous – took London by storm but such a warm and welcoming reception was not matched by Olivier who, struggling to meet her tiresome demands, was not giving her the love she felt she deserved.
Eager film enthusiast, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) desperate to be a part of the dazzling world of movie production, lands a job as the lighting assistant on set. In search of compassion, Marilyn turns to the young film assistant for comfort and Clark soon becomes infatuated with her beauty and charm, falling into what he knows, is way out of his depth.
Documenting those years in a diary – finally publishing his story in 2000 – we are offered a previously unseen insight, into the highs and lows of the young actress and her struggle to remain glamorous.
Watch the trailer
My Week with Marilyn – Tonight on BBC Four at 10pm
Two weeks in and already we’ve seen many shocking performances from the supposed ‘professionals’.
Tonight six more chefs take on the challenge, and cook up a masterpiece in front of judges – Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace.
Marcus challenges half the group to make taramasalata from scratch within a strict 20 minute time scale, including cracking a crab claw and opening a scallop.
The rest of the contestants must impress Monica in just 15 minutes, whipping up a dish of tagliatelle carbonara to her impeccably high standards.
In the final leg of the episode, and with a slightly longer time frame, the chefs get the chance to show off their talent with a signature dish of their creation. With expectations high, there is no room for error if the chefs want to be one of three returning to battle again in the MasterChef kitchen.
MasterChef: The Professionals – Tuesday at 8pm, BBC Two (Previous episodes available on iplayer)
The big Saturday nights in are back, with the return of Michael McIntyre’s Big Show to the BBC. Considered one of Britain’s best stand-up comedians, McIntyre certainly knows how to get a crowd.
His family style variety show featuring live music, heart-felt surprises and famous comic reenactments, sticks to a very uniform set-up, with season two following suit.
To kick start the second season there will be live music from megastar Ellie Goulding and an exclusive performance from School of Rock – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest West End spectacle – let’s hope the star studded line-up continues each week!
With Olly Murs handing over his phone, new material from McIntyre himself and a member of the public getting the surprise of their life, it is sure to be a big show. However, with exactly the same format as last, it may not be long before the show starts to tire and the jokes become unfunny.
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – Returns to BBC One 19 November at 8.10pm
As part of the BBC’s Black and British season this November, which involves relaying the stories of harsh prejudices and historical events, David Olusoga investigates the relationship between Britain and those with African origin, in the four part series Black and British: A Forgotten History.
Travelling across Britain, David uncovers lost stories of significant events in black British history. Tonight’s episode focuses on slavery – remembering the black sailors who fought for Britain at Trafalgar. He will also honor a Georgian boxer and thousands of men and who continue to fight for their freedom and ancestry.
Black and British: A Forgotten History continues tonight on BBC Two at 9pm. Episode one is available on iPlayer
The promises from president elect, Donald Trump, and the protesting that has occurred in America post Election Day, has once again raised serious questions as to the empowering role and rights for women.
From upfront suffragette protests to viral social campaigns, historian and broadcaster Helen Castor, explores the fundamental shifts that have occurred for women’s rights and the revolution to transform the role of women everywhere, in the BBC documentary – Women, Sex and Society: A Timewatch Guide.
Drawing on decades of BBC archives Helen examines how the behaviour of women activists has been documented by the media and how each generation of feminists have transformed the role of women in Britain today.
Women, Sex and Society: a Timewatch Guide is showing on BBC4 tonight from 9pm.
An exposing insight into British Prisons and the truth of what really happens behind bars is revealed in the new Channel 4 documentary, The Secret Life of Prisons: Cutting Edge.
Made over the course of 12 months, footage that has been filmed illegally on smuggled phones, shows the harsh realities prisoners face on a daily basis from both guards and fellow inmates. Interviews with prisoners featured in the videos and their family’s reaction to the footage will also appear in the documentary.
With the revelation that inmates are possibly in contact with more drugs and violence than they’d be faced with on the outside – the film raises serious questions about the conditions of our Prisons following an ‘unprecedented’ rise in suicide rates and violence on the inside.
The Secret Life of Prisons: Cutting Edge showing tonight at 9pm on Channel 4
Almost 50 years later and the secrets surrounding the adoption scandal are brought to the surface.
From the end of the Second World War up to the early 1970s, half a million young, unmarried and pregnant girls were pressured to give up their babies for adoption. Having been told that their actions were morally wrong and that they should be ‘ashamed’ to be pregnant, the girls felt they had no choice other than to surrender their children.
With thousands of women finally deciding to break their silence – the truth about the harsh and unjust conditions these women faced at Church mother-and-baby homes has been revealed. It is a dark period in Britain’s social history and one that is regretted by Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who apologises for “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”. How will the women who were forced to give up their children react to the apology? Would a public inquiry help heal wounds? Make up your own mind, tonight.
Britain’s Adoption Scandal: Breaking the Silence showing on ITV 9 November at 9pm.
In a world where the prospect of watching the lives of others is far more entertaining than reflecting upon our own personality traits and troubles – The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds returns tonight, giving the audience an uncensored view into what life is like for a young child integrating into the playground and, for the first time, gaining independence away from their families.
Featuring a new inner-city school and with child development specialists on hand, the 4 and 5 year olds meet for the first time forging friendships and battling towards independence over a selection of games and tasks designed to reveal their individualities.
In store for tonight – tree house gatekeeping, unlikely alliances, heated confrontation and a surprise in the form of 10 incubated eggs that the children will watch hatch and grow during the week.
The Secret Life of 4/5 Year Olds returns to Channel 4 tonight at 8pm.