Allan Crow sifts through the weekend’s schedules to find some viewing highlights.
Arena: The Brian Epstein Story
(Friday, BBC4, 9.00/10.00 p.m.)
A night for Fab Four fans - indeed, music fans - to savour.
Instead of the usual archive stuff – superb though it is – BBC4 has a double bill which is imaginative and fascinating.
It kicks-off with a programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the legendary 12-hour session at Abbey Road that produced The Beatles’ debut album – and sets about recreating it with a wide range of performers.
We get Graham Coxon from Blur, Joss Stone, Mick Hucknall and Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford to name but a few attempting the same session in real time during which they will attempt to deliver 11 songs for their version of the album.
Add in commentary from those who were there 50 years ago and you get a truly one-off music show.
But … there’s more.
The ever excellent Arena profiles Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles, and often hailed as ‘the fifth Beatle.’
A fascinating profile of the man who made stars of John, Paul, George and Ringo…
Britain’s Secret Shoppers
(Thursday, Channel4, 8.00 p.m.)
A new series designed to get us all haggling – that most un-British of things!
Let’s face it, other than those with brass necks, we’re just not very good at driving down a bargain and arguing the toss over 50p or a fiver.
Justin Preston is a man who believes no-one should pay full price for everything. Hmm, must see how he fares at an Esso station getting a tank of fuel for less than £100.
In this series he passes on his tips so watch carefully then go out and haggle over the cost of your pizza from Domino’s!
(Friday, BBC2, 8.30 p.m.)
Another work based fly on the wall documentary series kicks-off. Oh great, I hear you cry!
This time round we get the proverbial ‘’fascinating glimpse’’ behind the scenes of life at Southampton port. It’s the busiest in the world, didn’t you know!
That fact alone may not sustain your attention for an entire series so let’s hope there’s more drama to come as we learn how to offload luxury cars without pranging them.
Dangerous Drivers’ School
Winter Road Rescue
(Thursday, Channel5, from 8.00 p.m.)
Channel5 has no qualms about fly on the wall stuff - so much so it serves up back to back shows.
One is about driving instructors – how much excitement can there be in assessing an emergency stop, unless the car, er, doesn’t? – followed by the last in the series on emergency services coping in midwinter.
I think the FFP is probably one of the few workplaces yet to be invaded by cameras.
And no, that isn’t an invite …
Mrs Brown’s Boys
(Saturday, BBC1, 9.50 p.m.)
Hands up, I just don’t find this series funny. Not in the slightest.
I know folk roll about the floor at the antics of the Irish matriarch and her rather weird clan - ‘My Family’ it is not - but I just find the whole thing miserably foul-mouthed. Maybe I’m getting old...
Tonight’s the final show in this repeated run.