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The best UK TV this week from Eurovision to Ten Pound Poms

This week's UK TV highlights include documentaries about Rolf Harris, Matt Willis and Rebekah Vardy, along with Eurovision and the TV Baftas. (BBC/Channel 4/ITV)
This week's UK TV highlights include documentaries about Rolf Harris, Matt Willis and Rebekah Vardy, along with Eurovision and the TV Baftas. (BBC/Channel 4/ITV)

On UK TV over the next seven days Rebekah Vardy is getting personal on Channel 4 in an interview about her childhood, while Michelle Keegan opts for a new life in Australia in period drama Ten Pound Poms.

Plus TV’s biggest talents get rewarded at the Baftas, while the UK hopes to win big at the Eurovision final – hosted, of course, in Liverpool…

Read more: Everything new on Netflix in May

Here's Yahoo UK's guide to best telly coming to screens this week.

Saturday, 13 May, 8.00pm: The Eurovision Song Contest | BBC1

Eurovision Song Contest 2023,13-05-2023,Scott Mills; Mel Giedroyc; Rylan, Graham Norton,BBC,Ray Burmiston
Scott Mills; Mel Giedroyc; Rylan, Graham Norton will host the BBC's coverage of Eurovision. (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

With the UK hosting Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine, it’s only fitting that 2022 winners the Kalush Orchestra should be returning as this year’s opening act, their performance kicking off a gala evening hosted by Graham Norton, Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer-songwriter Julia Sanina.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Eurovision final

Along with the 26 grand finalists, we’re also set to get an appearance in the first interval by the spaceman himself, Sam Ryder, while The Liverpool Songbook will celebrate the contributions to popular music made by the host city down the decades. Graham Norton will, incidentally, also be on commentary duties, though in a tag-team with Mel Giedroyc.

Sunday, 14 May, 7.00pm: The Bafta TV Awards | BBC1

Rob Becket and Romesh Ranganathan - Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards (Bafta)
Rob Becket and Romesh Ranganathan - Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards (Bafta)

The real winners here are Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett whose successful comedy partnership on Sky has now landed them the Bafta-hosting gig at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the 2023 Bafta TV awards

But as for the nominated shows – well, it’s visceral medical drama This is Going to Hurt and acclaimed police procedural The Responder that lead the pack with six nominations each. And not far behind them are Bad Sisters, The Crown, The English and Slow Horses – all of which have five nods. But which TV highlight from the last 12 months will emerge triumphant on the night?

Sunday, 14 May, 9.00pm: Ten Pound Poms | BBC1

Ten Pound Poms,14-05-2023,1,Kate (MICHELLE KEEGAN),Eleven,John Platt
Michelle Keegan in Ten Pound Poms. (BBC)

Staking a claim for our affections in the prized Sunday-evening drama slot is this new period drama that follows a group of Brits who leave the gloom of 1956 post-war Britain behind with dreams of a better life in Australia. But the idyll they envisaged won’t be realised, with those who make the trip soon seen struggling with their new identity as immigrants.

Read more: The true story behind BBC’s Ten Pound Poms

Michelle Keegan, Faye Marsay and Warren Brown are among those in the ensemble cast, while the six-parter has been penned by Danny Brocklehurst, whose previous TV hits include Brassic and Ordinary Lies.

Monday, 15 May, 9.00pm: Steeltown Murders | BBC1

Steeltown Murders (BBC)
Gareth John Bale, Philip Glenister and Steffan Rhodri (BBC)

This dual timeframe crime drama is set in both 1973 and the early 2000s and is focused on the efforts to bring the killer of three young women in the Port Talbot area to book. In the first case of its kind, the mystery would come to be solved using pioneering DNA evidence – but 30 years after it was originally investigated.

Expect plenty in the way of contrasts between policing methods of the 1970s and the forensics-focused techniques of the early Noughties, as younger and older incarnations of the police officers involved make their breakthroughs. Gareth John Bale, Philip Glenister and Phil Bach Rees star.

Tuesday, 16 May, 10.00pm: Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me | Channel 4

Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah's Witnesses and Me (Channel 4)
Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah's Witnesses and Me (Channel 4)

The Wagatha Christie trial gave Rebekah Vardy huge press attention, but perhaps not of the kind she’d ideally like. But here she’s telling the story of her life and it’s one that will also no doubt result in much discussion.

As she reveals here, Vardy grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, but says that the religion failed to support her through the sexual abuse she endured as a child. And so, she’s now decided to embark on an investigative journey to discover what happened while exploring the effect all this has had on her.

Wednesday, 17 May, 9.00pm: Matt Willis: Addiction in the Family | BBC1

Matt Willis: Addiction in the Family (BBC)
Matt Willis: Addiction in the Family (BBC)

Busted may be back in business thanks to the band’s reunion tour, but there’s a dark side to this success, as Matt Willis reveals in this exploration of his battle with drugs and alcohol, and his daily struggle to keep himself clean.

Read more: Matt Willis: 'I used six grammes of cocaine a day'

Of his efforts to understand his addictions in this documentary, the musician said recently, “Whilst I live an amazing life and I am hugely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, when it comes to my mental health I still find myself battling with the ripple effects of my old addictions. I know I’m not alone and I’m determined to discover how others, like myself, can learn to live with this."

Thursday, 18 May: Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight | ITVX

EMBARGOED PICTURE: FOR PUBLICATION FROM TUESDAY 9TH MAY 2023
From Optomen TV

ROLF HARRIS: HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
Streaming from Thursday May 18, 2023 On ITVX

Pictured: Archive picture Harris, Rolf, musician, drawer, Australia, portrait, 1972 

Photo by Rainer Binder/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

This two-part documentary tells the extraordinary truth behind the rise and fall of former national treasure Rolf Harris using rare archive and exclusive testimony from those closest to the trial.

Harris was loved and trusted as 'the nation’s favourite uncle' but behind closed doors he had been betraying his family and the British public that had grown up with him by sexually assaulting children and young women for years.

Over a decade on from his arrest, Harris’ accusers including those who have waived their right to anonymity to tell the story of how they say his assaults impacted on them, and the pressures that finally forced them to come forward to testify against him in court.

With exclusive new testimony, the films tell the story of Harris’ decades-long grooming of his daughter Bindi’s childhood friend from the age of 13, and reveal the unseen evidence that led to his downfall.

With Harris now back at home, and new allegations of abuse surfacing in Australia, the series asks important questions about how the criminal justice system deals with historical cases of sexual abuse. Do his accusers feel that they’ve got justice?


For further information please contact Peter Gray
Mob 07831460662 /  peter.gray@itv.com

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Rolf Harris (Photo by Rainer Binder/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The double life of artist and entertainer Rolf Harris is revealed in a two-part documentary that asks how he got away with his crimes for so long.

Read more: Rolf Harris ‘very unwell and suffering neck cancer’

This rise-and-fall film documents how Harris managed to hide behind an eccentric public persona, while behind the scenes he’d been sexually abusing children and young women for years. There’s also an exploration of the star’s unrepentant attitude in court, as well as the decision by his wife and daughter to stand by him – despite one of his crimes being to have abused his daughter’s friend when she was just 13 years of age.

Watch: Rolf Harris reportedly unwell