Alan Dee’s guide to the pick of the week’s TV


The X Factor (ITV1, 8pm)

You know the drill: Judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa and Louis Walsh are back for more, while Nicole Scherzinger joins the team.

Rest assured they will be pulling out all the stops in their search for the nation’s next singing sensation, though there’s a slight change to the 2012 contest – everyone aged 16 and above can enter, even if they have had a previous management deal or currently have one.

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Dermot O’Leary is on hand to celebrate with those talented hopefuls who progress through to the next round, and commiserate with the tone-deaf auditionees who are not so fortunate.


The Last Weekend (ITV1, 9pm)

The new, three-part suspense thriller is an adaptation of Blake Morrison’s novel and focuses on two couples whose bank holiday weekend break in the Suffolk countryside goes horribly wrong.

The excellent cast is headed by Rupert Penry-Jones and Shaun Evans


Lorraine’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food (BBC Two, 8.30pm)

Lorraine Pascale demonstrates how to make quick and easy meals from scratch, and tonight she turns her attention to dishes that keep cravings at bay and lighten the mood; including a breakfast of ginger bread pancakes with parma ham and maple syrup, and a warming prawn linguine with chorizo and cabernet tomato sauce, and an indulgent chocolate mousse with raspberries - to name but a few.

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Given her svelte and flawless figure, it’s hard to imagine Lorraine eats what she cooks, but there’s definitely no harm in us believing that if we follow her cooking lead, we too can end up like looking her.


Person of Interest (Five, 10pm)

A reclusive billionaire Finch (Michael Emerson) has hired a former special agent Reese (Jim Caviezel) to stop crimes before they happen. They have an all-seeing, all-knowing super-intelligent piece of equipment that was developed after the September 11 terrorist attacks to help them in their mission.

This week, Reese and Finch get on the case of an unsolved murder after receiving the social security number of a girl named Teresa, who has been presumed dead since her father murdered his family and committed suicide.

Wednesday 22/08/2012

Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC One, 9pm)

The BBC’s flagship celeb-based genealogy documentary series has proved so popular that it’s now in its ninth year. This week, greengrocer, presenter and one half of the MasterChef hosting duo Gregg Wallace sets out to solve a long-standing family mystery.

Thursday 23/08/12

Waterloo Road (BBC One, 8pm)

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Almost a grown-up version of Grange Hill, this drama was originally commissioned for just a handful of episodes, and yet here we are at the start of series eight.

However, this new run features one of the biggest changes since the show began. The cast and crew have upped stumps and moved Scotland, where it has now become an independent establishment.


Parade’s End (BBC Two, 9pm)

If you thought the Beeb had peaked early with The Hollow Crown, then think again, because new, five-part series Parade’s End practically groans with class.

It’s been adapted from Ford Maddox Ford’s quartet of novels by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Sir Tom Stoppard.

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The plot follows the aristocratic Christopher, who marries the wilful socialite Sylvia. Despite their differences and the turbulent nature of their relationship, he’s determined to be a good husband – but then he meets the suffragette Valentine.

The all-star cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Anne-Marie Duff, Roger Allam and Rufus Sewell.

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