The best UK TV to watch this week from the Coronation and Eurovision semis to the Muppets
UK TV is an a celebratory mood this week with exhaustive coverage of the coronation of King Charles, as well as a concert in his honour.
Plus the Eurovision party gets underway with the staging of the semi-finals, while the Muppets are making a comeback on Disney+.
Read more: Everything new on Netflix in May
Read on for more on these as well as the rest of the week’s televisual treats.
Saturday, 6 May, From 6.00am: The Coronation Service | BBC1/2, ITV1
Both the BBC and ITV will be covering the ceremonial events throughout the day, so expect full pomp throughout the morning and into the afternoon as cameras track events from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back again.
On the BBC, we have the likes of Kirsty Young in the studio, Huw Edwards and Clare Balding on commentary duties, plus other familiar faces including Anita Rani and Sophie Raworth among the crowd and guests. ITV1, meanwhile, has Julie Etchingham and Tom Bradby hosting, with Mary Nightingale and James Mates providing commentary. Time to unfurl those flags, everyone…
Sunday, 7 May, 8.00pm: The Coronation Concert | BBC1
Our destination on Sunday is the grounds of Windsor Castle where a crowd of 20,000 people will be being galvanised by Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, who’s the host of this star-studded blending of music, dance, arts and theatre.
Read more: Everything we know about the Coronation Concert
In other words, there’ll be entertainment to suit all tastes, with the line-up including opera singer Andrea Bocelli and baritone Bryn Terfel, as well as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and actual Hollywood royalty in the form of Tom Cruise. But many eyes will no doubt be on Take That, with fans eager to see whether Gary, Howard and Mark are joined by any former bandmates for this celebratory event.
Tuesday, 9 May/Thursday, 11 May, 8.00pm: Eurovision Semi-Finals | BBC1
It’s been a long time coming but for the first time since 1998, the United Kingdom is set to stage the Eurovision Song Contest, though of course, it does so on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine, who are unable to host due to the ongoing war.
Read more: Everything we know about Eurovision 2023
To get the party started, the BBC will be bringing us live coverage of both semi-finals from Liverpool, fronted by the trio of Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina. Involved too will be Ukrainian broadcaster Timur Miroshnychenko, who caught the attention of the world’s media last year when he commentated on Eurovision from an underground shelter. Radio DJs and Eurovision fans Rylan and Scott Mills will also be bringing their insights to audiences in the UK.
Tuesday, 9 May, 10.00pm: Mad Women | Channel 4
A fascinating exploration of the role women have played in advertising over the past century, from the creation of the campaign for Shake n Vac (with its earworm of a jingle) to the Levi’s ad featuring Nick Kamen in the launderette and the bikini-clad women going potty over men due to the “Lynx effect”.
Read more: Everything new on Paramount+in May
As it turns out, there were plenty of battles going on behind the scenes to get these advertisements to our screens, and here we meet some of those creatives who got into the industry with the aim of breaking down some long-established stereotypes.
Wednesday, 10 May: The Muppets Mayhem, episodes 1-10 | Disney+
Despite making more noise than the rest of the Muppets combined, it’s taken this long for rock band Electric Mayhem to get their moment in the spotlight.
Read more: Everything new on Disney+ in May
Yes, the likes of Dr Teeth, Sgt Floyd Pepper, Janice Lips, Zoot and angry drummer Animal have been handed their own series, which will see them embarking on an epic musical journey to record their first studio album. It’s an opportunity 45 years in the making, but what will the group make of the cut and thrust of the contemporary music scene? Expect songs, craziness and cameos from the likes of Lil Nas X and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Friday, 12 May, 9.00pm: Hidden Treasures of the National Trust | BBC2
Remember the series Secrets of the Museum, which explored the archives of the V&A? Well, this new six-parter comes from the same production company and takes an equally insightful look at the National Trust’s many properties, as well as the conservators and experts who care for them.
Hidden stories will be told about such artefacts as the brick-pattern wallpaper in Paul McCartney’s childhood home in post-war Liverpool and an ornate Chinese bridge at Biddulph Grange Gardens in Stoke on Trent. So, expect a real behind-the-scenes exploration of the work being done to preserve these locations for visitors from future generations.
Friday, 12 May: City on Fire, episodes 1-3 | Apple TV+
Based on the novel of the same name by Garth Risk Hallberg, this new crime drama comes from writers established on such shows as Gossip Girl and The OC.
It’ll tell chart the investigation into the shooting of NYU student Samantha Cicciaro, who was alone in Central Park at the time of the attack on the Fourth of July 2003. There are no witnesses to the crime and little in the way of physical evidence, but the crime is soon revealed to be the pivotal connection between a series of mysterious fires across the city. Wyatt Oleff and Chase Sui Wonders star.
Watch a trailer for City On Fire