TONY ON TV: Dark clouds loom as Big Brother makes a return

Just when things were brightening up on the weather front, a dark cloud is set to descend on TV.

And, in particular, on Channel 5 which is pushing the boat out tomorrow with a two -part launch of ‘Big Brother 2013.’

For those who are fans, and I’m sure there are many, they will be faced with more of the same, only slightly different, as the presenting duties are now in the hands of Emma Willis.

With a new face, the reality show also has an updated theme -- self-sufficiency and being eco-friendly -- although I’m not if that applies to the spin-off show, ‘Big Brother’s Bit on the Side,’ fronted by shy, retiring Rylan Clark (yes, it’s him) and A. J. Odudu.

The full line-up of inmates has yet to be announced, but there’s plenty of “names in the frame” for Miss Marple to investigate as Olivier award-winning actress Julia McKenzie returns to ITV1 this Sunday in ‘A Caribbean Mystery,’ the first of three new Agatha Christie adaptations, in which she exchanges the rural backwater of St Mary Mead for a lavish hotel on the tropical island of St Honore.

However, this does not prove an heavenly retreat after one of the guests dies shortly after his arrival following an evening of exotic food, Planter’s Punch and specially arranged “vodoo show.”

The big-name cast includes Sir Antony Sher as a business tycoon, and Charlie Higson as James Bond.

For those who like their drama to have an historical thread, make sure you change channels to BBC1 this Sunday for ‘The White Queen,’ a new, 10-part adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel series ‘The Cousin’s War’ set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses interlacing thre story of three ruthless women will stop at nothing to claim the throne of England.

However, this most English of stories of seduction and deception, betrayal and murder was shot on location in Belgium with some filming taking place in and around Bruges that historically some of the characters had visited 500 years earlier.

Nearer to home, there’s ‘Goodbye Granadaland’ (ITV1, Saturday) as Bolton comedian Peter Kay goes behind the scenes of Granada Studios at Manchester, looking back on 56 years of TV landmarks as the building closes and moves to its new home in Salford’s Media City.

This gives him plenty of scope to remember the best of nearly six decades, whether it’s ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Prime Suspect’ or ‘Jewel in the Crown’ through to visits by royalty, the TV debuts of The Sex Pistols, Happy Mondays, Take That and the Beatles or the gritty, modern-day realism of ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show.’


Airport Live -- Monday to Thursday, BBC2. Forget all those check-in delays and save on Airport Duty Tax by staying at home and watch Dan Snow, Dallas Campbell and Anita Rani as they join more than 200,000 passengers who travel through Heathrow, the world’s busiest international hub airport, every day.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year 2013 -- Monday to Friday, BBC4. It’s a week of opera from the Welsh capital as five out of 20 singers on the cusp of their careers go head-to-head for the prestigious title, now in its 30th year.

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