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10 TV picks: autumn highlights

With so much fabulous telly around at the moment we thought we’d use these 10 TV picks to highlight some of the best of the autumn season right now.

Not only that, we look ahead to four more shows coming soon!

Murder Island - Channel 4

There’s never been a reality show - or whodunnit - quite like Channel 4’s Murder Island, an intriguing high concept mash-up of factual entertainment and crime drama.

A body is discovered on the Hebridean island of Gigha but it is all the creation of crime writer and Rebus creator, Ian Rankin.

It is down to four pairs of wannabe detectives to help solve the crime, all under the watchful eye of real-life police investigators as they attempt to piece together the clues and crack Rankin’s fiendish murder mystery.

What they say: ‘A cracking crime drama with the ultimate twist … Thrilling.’ Guardian

Hollington Drive - ITV

Rachael Stirling and Anna Maxwell Martin star in this suburban psychological thriller about the nightmarish disappearance of a child.

Stirling and Maxwell Martin are two married sisters who live next door to each other in the four-part mystery created by Sophie Petzal (who wrote Channel 5 drama Blood, starring Adrian Dunbar)

But their lives begin to unravel when another neighbour’s child goes missing and the mothers suspect their children may be involved.

What they say: ‘A curtain-twitching suburban thriller with a deep sense of foreboding that there’s plenty worse to come.’ Daily Mirror

Hollington-Drive

Outsiders - Dave

In Dave’s latest comedy panel show, host David Mitchell challenges three pairs of comedians to prove they’ve got the wits and wherewithal to survive in, well, the outside.

Ed Gamble, Kerry Godliman, Jamali Maddix, Jessica Knappett, Lou Sanders and Toussaint Douglass are the comics striving to prove their outdoor survival skills to greater or lesser (and very funny) effect.

Mitchell is to the manor born in his headmasterly role and it will be a treat to watch the panellists’ relationships - and rivalry - develop during the six-part run.

What they say: ‘A fun idea that taps into our current sense of end-of-days apocalypse and a lot of fun to watch … Mitchell is a great host.’ Beyond The Joke

Brassic - Sky Comedy

There’s nothing else quite like Brassic which became Sky’s biggest original comedy when it launched kicking and screaming - and laughing - onto our screens two years ago.

Now the outrageous comedy following the antics of Vinnie O’Neill (Joe Gilgun) and his friends getting up to no good in the fictional northern town of Hawley is back for an extended eight-episode run.

Sky promises the new series will be ‘bigger, bolder and more bonkers than ever … a hectic world of bulls, snakes, kidnappings, betrayal, and this time, a full-size horse’. Welcome to the world of Brassic.

What they say: ‘Lewd, crude and totally brilliant.’ Guardian


All Creatures Great and Small - Channel 5

Channel 5’s return to the Yorkshire Dales and the much loved stories of James Herriot is back for a second series and it’s as gloriously feelgood as ever.

The veterinarian period drama manages to be the televisual equivalent of a warm bath and a bracing breath of fresh air all at the same time (no mean feat, you might think).

The first series was Channel 5’s biggest-rating show for nearly five years and it’s a mark of its success that early comparisons with the 1970s adaptation proved so short-lived

What they say: ‘Balm for the soul, the most stress-relieving show of the week. A delight.’ Daily Telegraph

Great British Bake Off - Channel 4

If you ever needed a sign that the nights are beginning to draw in and autumn has properly arrived - apart from looking out of the window, obviously - it’s the return of the Great British Bake Off to Channel 4.

Now into its 12th series (and fifth year on Channel 4) the feelgood phenomenon remains as fresh as ever, overseen by Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas (in his second year on the show) alongside Prue Leith and the omnipresent Paul Hollywood.

The show, which finished with a record audience for last year’s final, returned with nearly 6 million viewers for last month’s launch, its biggest ever for Channel 4 with viewers aged 16 to 34.

What they say: ‘It took all of five seconds for a big grin to spread across my face … Excellent fun.’ iNews


Never Mind the Buzzcocks - Sky Max

It’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks but not as viewers remember it with the comedy pop quiz playing a brand new tune in its fresh incarnation in Sky.

Greg Davies is the new bandleader alongside team captains Daisy May Cooper and Noel Fielding and regular guest panellist Jamali Maddix (all of them alumni of another long-running panel show, Taskmaster).

If many of the rounds are familiar then the tone of the show is very different, described by Davies as ‘chaotic silliness rather than confrontation’. A winning mixture of music, mockery and mayhem.

What they say: ‘A reinvention rather than a remix, Davies was determined to make the format his own … proving it’s cool to be kind.’ iNews


Manhunt: The Night Stalker - ITV

Martin Clunes returned for a second series of the true crime drama based on the memoirs of Met Police detective, Colin Sutton.

The new four-parter followed the case of a serial burglar and rapist dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ who terrorised south London for 17 years until 2009.

Two years after the acclaimed original series looking at the investigation into the death of French student Amélie Delagrange, Manhunt is resolutely unshowy and unsensational and all the better for it, with Clunes’s compelling performance at its heart.

What they say: ‘Martin Clunes’s ace detective makes for superb, compulsive viewing.’ Independent


Help - Channel 4

BAFTA winning writer Jack Thorne’s drama about the care home crisis at the beginning of the pandemic is a powerful and important, often harrowing watch.

Jodie Comer stars as a newly qualified nurse at a care home, Stephen Graham as a resident who has early onset Alzheimer’s.

A haunting reminder of the impact of the pandemic, Help is full of humanity and moments of humour despite its subject matter. Many programmes have been made about the pandemic but few have quite such visceral impact.

What they say: ‘Comer delivers one of the best and most heart-breaking performance of her already-stellar career … Graham is breathtaking, unsurprisingly brilliant.’ Radio Times


Wolfe - Sky Max

The forensic crime genre might appear to be an unlikely source of laughs, but that is exactly what Paul Abbott (Shameless, No Offence) has done with Sky Max’s darkly comic new drama, Wolfe.

Mixing eye-popping horror and outrageous humour, Babou Ceesay stars as Professor Wolfe Kinteh, a rogue forensic scientist who has bipolar and is described as ‘half genius, half liability’.

Each week Wolfe and his team investigate a different murder across the north of England in ways that are unconventional and always unexpected.

What they say: ‘Expect gore, laughs, and a lot of swearing.’ iNews


And coming soon!

The Larkins - ITV

They are some of English literature’s most enduring and much-loved creations. Now the Larkin family are returning to ITV in a brand-new adaptation of HE Bates’ The Darling Buds of May.

Bradley Walsh stars as Pop Larkin alongside Joanna Scanlan as Ma Larkin in the six-part 1950s set comedy drama which will feature a whole host of familiar names along the way.

Writer Simon Nye (Finding Alice, The Durrells) said he would be expanding the Larkins’ world to bring their story to a whole new generation of viewers. Perfick Sunday night telly.


Landscapers - Sky Atlantic

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star in the extraordinary story of a seemingly everyday couple who end up involved in a double murder.

Inspired by the gruesome 1998 Mansfield ‘garden bodies’ murders, the genre-bending four-parter is part black comedy, part true crime drama.

An ‘exhilarating and darkly funny exploration of love and fantasy’, it is the first script written by Colman’s husband, Ed Sinclair. A tale that is truly stranger than fiction.

Landscapers

Ragdoll - Alibi

This modern-day Faustian thriller begins with the murder of six people whose bodies are dismembered and sewn into the shape of one grotesque body, the so-called ‘Ragdoll’ of the title.

Lucy Hale, Thalissa Teixeira and Henry Lloyd-Hughes are the Met police detectives assigned to the case who find themselves in a race against time to stop the killer murdering again.

Made by the producers of Killing Eve with a writing team led by Freddy Syborn (Bad Education, Ms Marvel)  Ragdoll is a pitch black dystopian murder mystery.

Ragdoll

Stath Lets Flats - Channel 4

One of the biggest breakout comedy hits of the last few years, Stath Lets Flats is coming back for a third series on Channel 4 after its triple win at last year’s BAFTA awards.

Its creator and co-writer Jamie Demetriou stars as the endearingly idiotic letting agent Stath, who in the new series has not only become a father but is heading the family business going head-to-head with the posh estate agency next door.

The new series will feature guest stars including Charlie Cooper (This Country), Julia Davis (Sally4Ever) and David Avery (We Are Lady Parts).


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