Tony Spittles rounds up the week ahead on television

Big Box Little Box on ITV 1
Big Box Little Box on ITV 1

Thinking of buying one of the latest gadgets or gizmos, then tune into ITV1 tomorrow at 8.30pm.

That’s the delivery time for Big Box, Little Box as five households across Britain get to test the what’s new on the market. So you’ll be able to check out how they cope with the smallest electric car, spray tanning equipment or catching up on four Newark housemates who sip gin to stay hydrated while they sit in a home sauna.

It’s hardly the serious, analytical approach undertaken by consumers’ watchdog Which? but more trying to be Googlebox-friendly as can be seen over the new six weeks as our new TV friends grab the goodies and make sure “they try before you buy.”

There’s no such “road testing” for two TV favourites which are making a welcome return to the screen.

Already back at full throttle is the second series of the sharp-edged comedy Vicious (Monday, ITV1) about the life and loves of long-time partners Freddie and Stuart played in top form by theatrical knights Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

Then next Tuesday there’s the start of Me and My Guide Dog (ITV1) focusing on the vital work undertaken by the national Guide Dogs for the Blind Association which Chad and its loyal readers have supported in cash and kind for more than 50 years.

Timothy Spall narrates this two part-documentary which, with exclusive access to the charity’s work, highlights the difference that such loyal canine guides can make to the life of blind or visually impaired people.

The national GDBA was founded more than eight decades ago just a few years ahead of when British movie maverick J. Arthur Rank began work on his greatest dream - a British film studio that would be the greatest in the world.

His legacy is still the stuff of dreams as can be seen in Pinewood: 80 Years of Movie Magic (Saturday, BBC2) as Jonathan Ross takes viewers on a personal tour behind the scenes of Britain’s most iconic studios.

On his tour he will be joined by Barbara Windsor to explore the exact sites where “Babs” did some vigorous exercises for Carry On Camping and how Heathererden Hall was transformed to a British Raj villa for Carry On Up the Kyhber.

Bridging the years there will be a peep at a special screening of Sir John Mills in the 1946 retelling of Great Expectations, while for 007 fans Jonathan is joined by the woman who keeps Bond in check, Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) before sneaking onto the set of the latest Bond instalment, SPECTRE.

Back in the real world there’s a number of pre-weekend health checks that don’t need appointments. Tonight, BBC1 gives an hour over to examining the all-too-real crises in NHS: The Perfect Storm while tomorrow, still on BBC1, there’s the first of two dental dates in The Truth About Your Teeth. At the same time, Channel 4 turns the cameras a complex disease with no known cure in its three-part Dementiaville.