Truckers helps rev up choice for tv viewers

editorial image

THE clocks go back this weekend, hopefully heralding more to watch on TV to while away those long, winter evenings.

BBC1 has already stolen a march over this time change with the continuing travels in ‘Truckers’ (Thursday) -- about the lives and loves of a group of Nottingham lorry drivers -- which, surprisingly, has failed to get most of the London-based TV critics revved up.

But they are the losers as this home-grown drama, penned by Southwell writer William Ivory (who also let viewers join the Liverpool binmen on their rounds in ‘Common As Muck’ as well as charting the celebrity cavortings in ‘Burton and Taylor’) has put Nottingham on the map along with King’s Mill Hospital at Sutton.

There, the former Blandy Ward, which was for many years was a temporary home to youngsters after surgery, is set for wider recognition along with more familiar sights as trams in the city centre, Kimberley standing in for the HQ of the family-run Banks of England haulage firm, plus Carlton, and the truckers’ watering hole -- the Double Top pub at Chilwell.

These places can be visited, unlike London’s Whitechapel in 1890 which is filmed entirely in Dublin as can be seen in the second series of ‘Ripper Street,’ which returns to BBC1 next Monday.

This fast-paced thriller finds the long shadow of Jack the Ripper receding, but Det Insp Reid and his loyal deputies, Det Sgt Drake and Capt Jackson, still have their work cut out in an East End beset with drugs, a female gang with twice the ferocity of their male counterparts, escaped bombers and energy magnates.

With so much going on they would do well to engage the services of ‘The Escape Artist’ (BBC1, Tuesday), an original suspense thriller set in the world of criminal law, starring the ever-busy and versatile David Tennant as Will Burton, a talented junior barrister who specialises in spiriting people out of tight legal corners. Will is in high demand as he has never lost a case. But when his talents acquit the prime suspect in a horrific murder trial, that brilliance comes back to bite him with unexpected and chilling results.

For something less demanding, ITV1 fronts a new-look Sunday morning schedule, starting at 10.30am with cheeky chappy Stephen Mulhern presenting showbiz chat, games and surprises in ‘Sunday Side Up.’ This live, fun-filled hour of entertainment is followed by even more froth as Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams co-host ‘Sunday Scoop,’ a topical mix of the week’s news with food and debate thrown in plus, for good measure, Peter Andre joining them for some shows. TV doesn’t get much better than this!