MONDAY: THE GREAT SPORT RELIEF BAKE OFF (BBC TWO, 8.30PM)
The Great British Bake Off has surprised many by becoming one of the BBC’s most successful shows in recent years. This spin-off sees various famous faces baking away while trying to raise money for Sport Relief. This week, a batch of 16 celebrities enter the famous tent across four episodes. First up are former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, actress Samantha Bond, Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and presenter Johnny Vaughan who prepare sandwich biscuits, tarte Tatin and a novelty cake depicting a sporting landmark. Those appearing in the rest of the week’s episodes are Kirsty Young, Jane Horrocks, Greg Rutherford, Jason Gardiner, Michael Ball, Emma Freud, Jamelia, Victoria Pendleton, Alistair McGowan, Rochelle Humes, Doon Mackichan and Helen Skelton.
TUESDAY: HOUSE OF FOOLS (BBC TWO, 10PM)
Bob Mortimer says that he and his comedy partner Vic Reeves “write idiots quite well”. So it should come as no surprise to find that their new sitcom - their first to be filmed in front of a live studio audience - will feature weird yet wonderful folk. When the Beeb cancelled Shooting Stars, it seemed that its love affair with Vic and Bob had come to an end. However, the broadcaster wasn’t ready to give up on the boys just yet, preferring instead to challenge them to devise a new comedy. The duo also star in the series, which is set in a fictional version of Bob’s home. “I live there with Vic and my Norwegian son Erik,” says Bob. “All I want is a quiet life but this is impossible due to the antics of Vic’s mates Beef, Bosh and our next door neighbour Julie, who all treat my flat as a second home.”
WEDNESDAY: THE RESTORATION MAN (CHANNEL 4, 8PM)
Architect George Clarke gets to meet people from all walks of life as he indulges his life-long passion for property-developing. The people taking on these massive projects in The Restoration Man are thankful to have him on board. After graduating at Newcastle University, Clarke went on to join renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell on jobs in London and Hong Kong. He formed his own company in 1998, but his career in television was to come about completely by chance, after he approached a literary agency, little realising it also represented TV presenters. They thought him a perfect fit for Channel 5’s Build a New Life in the Country. Five years later, and Clarke would become The Restoration Man, a fairy godmother to those whose property development dreams had turned a bit stale.
THURSDAY: BENIDORM (ITV, 9PM)
The show that promises sun, sea and sangria serves up another bumper helping of laughs tonight, as Liam bumps into Bianca and immediately falls in love. But it’s not all good news in the resort, as Donald and Jacqueline receive sad news about their friend Big Donna. Meanwhile, the grand reopening of Blow n’Go is interrupted by a rowdy stag party, and a familiar face returns - old Solana regular Martin Weedon (Nicholas Burns) is the best man with said stag party.
And Madge is keen to stir things up with the Dyke family, so Janice, Mick, Tonya and Clive decide the best course of action is to ignore her. Benidorm has been entertaining the masses for just shy of seven years and this series looks set to be the best yet, with guest appearances from Joan Collins, Matthew Kelly and Philip Olivier.
FRIDAY: THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW (BBC ONE, 10.35PM)
It’s a surreal experience sitting in a room with actor Michael Fassbender, as Graham Norton should find out this week. Michael honed his craft on Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ epic mini-series Band of Brothers in 2001. He later caught the eye of Zack Snyder who cast him in his swords-and-sandals blockbuster 300, and Fassbender also won kudos for arthouse drama Fish Tank.
However, he really made critics sit up and take notice as hunger striker Bobby Sands in director Steve McQueen’s critically acclaimed 2008 drama Hunger. They reunited for the no-holds barred sex addict study Shame, and their latest collaboration, 12 Years a Slave, looks like a strong contender for Oscars and Baftas galore this year.
Michael will be plugging that movie in this week’s show.