On TV this week:
The Joy of Abba
(Friday, BBC4, 9.00 p.m.)
Enjoy another foray into the glitterball era as BBC4’s popdoc tells the story of the Swedish foursome who took the British music charts by storm with their catchy melodies. It may lack some insight from all the former members, as it’s left to Bjorn to tell the story (in a 2007 interview), but it makes up for with rare footage.
The heartbreak and loss of their songs are examined in affecting detail as even poor Pete Waterman looks like he’s about to shed a tear at one point. Expect to take out your ABBA Gold album that you’ve secretly got hidden away.
Later With Jools Holland
(Friday, BBC2, 11.35 p.m.)
Rock band U2 make their debut on the show to perform songs from their new album ‘Songs of Innocence’. Don’t let that put you off, though, as New York rockers Interpol return a decade after their last appearance to perform tracks from their fifth studio album ‘El Pintor’.
Also appearing are Nika Roza Danilova, garage punk two-piece Slaves, and Dave & Phil Alvin from seminal Californian rock ‘n’ roll band the Blasters, reuniting for the first time in almost 30 years.
Dylan Thomas: A Poet In New York
(Saturday, BBC2, 9.45 p.m.)
Tom Hollander stars in this drama charting the last days of Dylan Thomas – poet, sweatily expansive drunk and all-round mess. It’s a standard biopic of a great but rather troubled artist.
Though when he reads ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’, you might find that you have something in your eye.
24 Hours In Police Custody
(Monday, Channel 4, (9.00 p.m.)
Last in the series of the reality series. PCs Leanne Turner and Andy Parsons (not the comedian) are sent to investigate an alleged assault against a vulnerable 75-year-old man in a domestic dispute with his private carer. Elsewhere at the police station, a Polish man arrested for a drunken row with his partner is taken into custody on a breach of the peace charge, mainly to remove him from the situation and allow him to sober up and cool off, but things take an unexpectedly rather sinister turn.
You Can’t Get the Staff
(Tuesday, Channel 4, 9.00 p.m.)
Yet another reality show, this time with the posh lot looking for staff in their stately homes. Major General Arthur Sandbach inherited Bryngwyn Hall in Powys after his brother met a grisly end lion-hunting in Somaliland, but today it falls under the command of Auriol Linlithgow.
The owner is now under pressure to choose a new recruit to fit in with her very particular team.
Plus, Carina Evans in Henley-on-Thames is looking for someone to work in her home who can do everything she does.
(Thursday, Channel 5, 10.00 p.m.)
First of a two-part documentary exploring the history of the famous prison and the crimes of its most notorious inmates.
This rather interesting doc gives a good insight into the prison since it was first built in 1852, detailing the change to a female-only jail, the installation of new gallows and the prison during the Second World War and up to 1948. The second part of the series is shown next Thursday.
Top of the Pops: 1979
(Thursday, BBC Four, 7.30 p.m.)
Take a step back in time as Peter Powell presents an edition of the much-loved but now defunct chart show which was first broadcast on October 25, 1979.
This edition features performances by soem of the biggest names in music at the time including the Specials, Queen, Cats UK, the Charlie Daniels Band, Dr Hook and the Dooleys, to name but a few.