THE facial gurnings that always accompanied Davina McCall on ‘Big Brother’ always made me thank that radio had been invented.
However, everyone deserves a second chance, so it was good to see that community service does work as Ms McCall adopts normal mode in ITV’s ‘Long Lost Family.’
Dubbed ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ for mere mortals, this seven-part series, which continues on Thursday, is far more interesting as she and co-host Nicky Campbell preside over reunions and reconciliations among families that have seen happier days.
Such good luck is not always the case for some other leading ladies on TV -- namely those playing hard-nosed detectives who seem to have their work cut out in a triple treat of cases featuring imported crimes and those nearer home.
On Saturday, BBC4 has left the sunnier climes of Sicily’s ‘Inspector Montalbano’ and headed north to Scandinavia for a joint Danish-Swedish production of ‘The Bridge’ starring “cold fish” detective Saga Noren as she and her team probe the death of a body found on the 10-mile long Oresund Bridge (you may recognise it from several open road car ads), which links the two countries.
This 10-part series is being shown in double episodes, unlike the gentle pace adopted by ‘Vera’ (ITV, Sunday), which sees a return to duty for Brenda Blethyn as Northumberland-based DCI Vera Stanhope in another four cases based on the novels of Ann Cleeves.
Just as Vera’s getting into her stride probing the case of a murdered social worker (especially as she’s having to cut back on her drinking with the onset of angina), Manchester’s finest, ‘Scott & Bailey’ (ITV, Monday) wrap up their current caseload next week with a boozy Rachel (Suranne Jones) being a prime suspect for the brutal beating up of her former boyfriend, lawyer Nick Savage.
As Gregg Wallace might have said: “Detecting does not get much tougher than this . . . “
THE WEEK AHEAD
Queen Victoria’s Last Love -- Wednesday, C4. Intriguing look at whether the Monarch’s humble waiter, Abdul Karim, was her servant or master.
The Plot to Bring Down Britain’s Planes -- Thursday, C4. Chilling documentary examining MI5’s race to stop terrorists detonating bombs on planes leaving Heathrow for the USA in 2006.
Have I Got News For You -- Friday, BBC1. ‘Homeland’ star Damian Lewis is on even more dangerous ground as he guest hosts this week’s edition of the news quiz.
Sounds of the 70s -- Monday, BBC2. Third of a 10-part series still rocks 40 years on.
Hidden Talents -- Tuesday, C4. Local boy Richard Bacon extends his broadcasting CV as he finds out whether ordinary folk have undetected gifts in the second of this six-part series which looks for a volunteer to succeed in the international free-diving arena, and an individual who, with no previous artistic training, can spot a masterpiece in a room full of fakes.