Alan Dee’s guide to the best TV of the week ahead


By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th January 2012, 7:45 am

The Magicians (BBC One, 6.35pm)

Four magicians – double act Barry Jones and Stuart MacLeod, alongside Pete Firman and Jason Latimer – team up with assorted celebrities to perform four illusions, two live and two pre-recorded, from the classic to the never-attempted before.

Darren McMillan takes over from Lenny Henry as host.


Call the Midwife (BBC One, 8pm)

If the demise of Lark Rise to Candleford, Heartbeat and Downton Abbey has left you longing for a warm, nostalgic Sunday night drama, then you can do no better than Call the Midwife.

This new series, based on the books by the late Boxmoor author Jennifer Worth, is set in 1957, and delivers everything you’d expect, with the possible exception of a picturesque rural setting.

The drama takes place in the East End of London, where nurse Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) has just arrived, believing she’s about to take up a post in a small private hospital.

Instead, she finds she’ll be living and working at Nonnatus House, which is home to an order of nuns.

Jenny, who comes from a posh background, is shocked by the poverty she encounters, but she’s going to have to adjust fast as she handles her first solo case – caring for Mrs Conchita Warren, who is pregnant for the 25th time.


Stargazing Live (BBC Two, 8.30pm)

Professor Brian Cox – one of the brains behind ‘big bang’ machine the Large Hadron Collider – and comedian Dara O Briain present this second three-part strand which aims to teach the public what’s what when it comes to heavenly bodies.


15 Kids and Counting (Channel 4, 9pm)

As the title probably suggests, families who have (to many of us) unthinkable numbers of offspring.

Noel and Sue Redford are forever keen to add to their ever-growing family, the couple have 14 children with baby number 15 on the way. Now 36 years old, Sue has spent half of her adult life pregnant and over the last 17 years has had a baby nearly every year.


Kate Thornton - Anorexic: My Secret Past (Channel 5, 10pm)

Kate reveals she became obsessed with her weight after moving from primary school to secondary education. She felt dumpy and was teased about her weight, and what started out as dieting turned into an obsessive mental illness that led to her starving herself. Look out for her Kate’s meetings with those still living in anorexia’s grip, including an 18-year-old who’s begun the rocky road to recovery.


Gypsy Blood: True Stories (Channel 4, 10pm)

A fascinating insight into the hidden lives of the traveller communities, putting the spotlight on a far darker area of traveller life, one that even Big Fat Gypsy Weddings left well alone – the world of bare-knuckle fighting. And it really does pull no punches.


Room 101 (BBC One, 8.30pm)

An all-new format and overseen by Frank Skinner, who referees three celebrities each week as they compete for his approval to banish their top peeve, annoyance, irritation or worst nightmare to the depths of Room 101 forever.