Friday 15 December 2017

‘dot’ delves deep

bbc2, 11.50pm

VETERAN EastEnders star June Brown (87 in February and still going strong) delves into her family history. The woman who plays Dot Cotton begins her quest in London, exploring one ancestor's role in the shadowy underworld of 19th Century bare-knuckle boxing, before tracing her heritage much farther back. The trail leads to Holland and the story of relatives divided by war, and a document that reveals the impact of an expulsion from North Africa at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.

ted's final misadventure

father ted

rte2, 8pm

A smooth-talking American priest offers impressionable Ted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave Craggy Island and run his own parish in sunny Beverly Hills, but first he has to break the news to his constant companions Jack, Dougal and Mrs Doyle that they are not invited. The final episode of the cult clerical comedy, starring Dermot Morgan and Ardal O'Hanlon with Tommy Tiernan and The Fast Show's Jeff Harding.

if you can't stand the heat...

ramsay's kitchen nightmares USA

CH4, 10pm

Part one of two. Gordon Ramsay comes to the aid of Mangia Mangia, an Italian restaurant with an identity crisis in Woodland Park, Colorado, where guests have a choice between casual fine-dining service or a pick-up from the drive-through takeaway. Headstrong owner Julie finds herself completely at odds with the head chef, forcing her to breaking point.

all aboard the whisky express

great british railway journeys

bbc4, 7.30 and 8pm

IN a back-to-back double-bill, Michael Portillo continues his journey up the west coast of Scotland and discovers how trains helped spread the reputation of Oban whisky. He also learns about the efforts to build a railway through the desolate Rannoch Moor and visits Corrour, a favourite shooting estate of the political elite in Victorian times. In the second of the night's episodes, Portillo investigates the parallel 'roads' etched in the side of Glen Roy - one of the geological mysteries of the 19th Century. He also finds out how the Victorians put a weather observatory on the top of Ben Nevis, and crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct by steam train.

Actress and TV and radio presenter Liza Tarbuck, comedienne Susan Calman and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig join regular panellist Alan Davies (the kicking boy who usually loses by a big margin). Brainbox host Stephen Fry (pictured) asks a range of questions on a kaleidoscope of topics beginning with 'k', with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones.

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