The best TV to watch this week from Challenge Anneka to Celebrity Bake Off
On UK TV this week, we have the return of Anneka Rice, who remains as indefatigable as ever as her Challenge series makes a comeback.
Also resurfacing is Det Supt Roy Grace (John Simm), who has a fresh caseload to deal with on Sunday night.
Friends actor David Schwimmer, meanwhile, is putting his baking skills to the test for charity, while two Strictly stars pack their passports for a sun-kissed adventure.
Read on for a rundown of all these upcoming TV treats...
Saturday, 18 March, 8.50pm: Challenge Anneka | Channel 5
The force of energy that is Anneka Rice returns for some more heart-warming missions, this time on Channel 5. And, as ever, she’s bringing along her trademark blue truck and sound guy Dave Chapman.
Read more: Anneka Rice 'broken and depressed' by Strictly injury
For the first challenge, she’s at Foal Farm in Kent, which for 60 years has recused and rehomed thousands of abandoned dogs. But space is now at a premium and the staff are anguished as they’re facing the prospect of turning homeless dogs away. Enter Anneka with an ambitious scheme to build a brand-new mega block of kennels. But can she get things completed in just three days?
Sunday, 19 March, 8pm: Grace | ITV1
Dour Brighton-based detective Roy Grace is your Endeavour replacement on a Sunday night, as actor John Simm returns to the role for three new cases, all adapted from the bestselling books by Peter James.
In the first — a dramatisation of Dead Like You — we’re at the Royal Edward Hotel, where the police are making the exit of Assistant Chief Constable Alison Vesper. But a chilling development leaves Grace and Branson with the task of interviewing all the hotel guests, including the high-ranking officers in attendance at the leaving do.
Sunday, 19 March, 7.45pm: The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer | C4
Bake Off always often manages to pull an A-list star out of the piping bag for its celeb editions and this year, it’s no exception, with Friends actor David Schwimmer donning an apron.
Read more: Celebrity Bake Off line-up
He’ll be joined by pop star Jesy Nelson as well as comedians Rosie Matafeo and Tom Davis for challenges set solely on this occasion by Matt Lucas (co-presenter Noel Fielding being unwell). For the Signature, it’s savoury pies. When it comes to the Technical, we have fiddly French confections. And with the Showstopper, the bakers are asked to recreate their most embarrassing celebrity fail in meringue.
Tuesday 21 March, 9pm: Anton and Giovanni’s Adventures in Sicily | BBC1
Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice are swapping Strictly for Sicily as they’re off on holiday together for this banter-filled travelogue.
Both appear sartorially stylish (naturally!) as they tour Gio’s homeland, with this opening episode seeing them stop off in the port town of Sciacca. On the itinerary: the white beaches of Porta Blanca, the Valley of the Temples and the island’s second city of Catania. This last location is of particular significance to Giovanni, as he moved here at the age of 14 to further his dance career.
Wednesday, 22 March, 9pm: Race Across the World | BBC1
This third season arrives with a promotion from BBC2 to BBC1 and finds five teams attempting to scurry across 16,000 km in Canada. The catch? They have no smartphones, internet access or credit cards – but just the cash equivalent of the airfare to fly the route.
Their starting-off point is Vancouver on the Pacific coastline and the aim is to pass through seven checkpoints before arriving at St Johns on the island of Newfoundland, the most easterly town in north America. It’s a trek that’ll take the teams through a number of the most remote regions on the planet…
Friday, 24 March, 9pm/10pm: Drift: Partners in Crime | Sky Atlantic
There’s plenty of stunt-filled spectacle in the opening double bill of this German police drama, with car smash-ups, boxing bouts, even a bridge collapse. And the partnership at its heart is of interest too, with Ken Duken and Fabian Busch playing reunited siblings who form a mismatched police duo.
So, meet Ali and Leo Zeller: one is a risk-taking maverick and the other is starchier and straightlaced. But they’re about to be thrown together on a case that will take them from Munich to the Bavarian Alps and then onto the streets of Athens.
Friday, 24 March: My Kind of Country, episode one | Apple TV+
Reese Witherspoon is one of the brains behind this new music competition series, which sees scouts and judges searching the globe to find artists with the potential to be the next big country star.
Those having their say on the matter are singer-songwriters Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck, who each select a roster of up-and-comers before inviting them to the home of country music in Nashville, Tennessee. The overall winner then bags a grand prize from Apple Music, who are also set to support and showcase their talents on the platform.
Watch: David Schwimmer shares reason for joining Bake Off